The world has always been under the shock waves of war. The shock wave of World War I, for instance, occurred on June 28, 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, possible heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne. The aim of this assassination provocation was the hope that certain Austro-Hungarian provinces would secede and join Serbia or Yugoslavia. The end result however was that Austro-Hungary issued an ultimatum which Serbia rejected leading to the First World War. This is what provocation can do. It can grow exponentially in scope, and result in catastrophic death and destruction. But it – that is the assassination provocation – is not unique. It has existed since the beginning of time.
Poland was invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union in September of 1939. Allies huddled together to address the situation. It was thought that World War I was the war to end all wars. They were wrong. Hitler would not stop. He continued to invade other lands and eliminate “undesirables.” But it – that is the invasion provocation - was not unique. It also existed since the beginning of time.
The problem is not that there exists such a provocation problem. Such situations have arisen throughout the centuries. The real problem is how to prevent this type of problem from reoccurring; or second, how to deal with the problem once it manifests.
Why do I say there has always been such a problem? Because it is a problem of evil, and evil must not go unchecked. Evil first enters the mind and then the heart of a person who refuses to bend the knee to a higher power. An evil provoker can act alone, but on a grander scale will amass others to join him in his pursuit of either believing “the end justifies the means,” or in self-aggrandizement bring the rest of mankind under his dominion. The real problem therefore is how to deal with the person who refuses to bend the knee. For example, in the case of World War II, the age-old problem arose in a man who wanted to be God and rule the world rather than be ruled by God and his laws. The real problem was how to deal with the age-old problem that once-again resurfaced.
Prior to WW II, the world was staring at an unrecognized ego problem. "I can devise a master plan that the world can submit to, thereby ushering in a utopia of my own making", thought the self-deluded genius behind the plan. This problem was not, of course, seen as a problem by many. It was purposely disguised to make it more palatable to the beguiled. It was to benefit all of collective mankind by subjugating the rights of the individual.
The problem for the resurfaced age-old problem was how to convince enough military to believe in its brilliancy to thereby enforce his plan upon those who opposed it. But they would be hard to convince. The opponents were already familiar with another master plan believed by them to be devised not by man, but by a higher being, a creator, who laid out rules of governance, legitimate reasons for wartime engagement, and creator-endowed individual rights derived from moral law.
You see, there comes a tug of war between the bully and his cohorts against his victims. What do you do with a bully who oversteps boundaries? Reason with him? Appease him? Set sanctions against him? If he takes one nation by intrigue, do you toss him another in hopes he will leave you alone? Do you remain isolated or join the fray to try and defeat him? When it reaches this level, it takes courage most of us do not naturally possess.
As I mentioned in the beginning about shock waves of arising conflict caused by one country overstepping boundaries, we have always had this age-old problem. And the real problem was not always handled correctly, resulting in needless astronomical deaths. But it was not always global. Weaponry devastation was not capable of reaching global proportions. Now it is. With the advent of the atomic bomb and global communication via the World Wide Web, things escalate exponentially.
The first world problem started with the first human problem: a human desire to be God rather than coming under the rule of God. The result was and always will be the same: human devastation. We must never seek to compromise, appease, or surrender to those who seek to place us under the rule of ungodliness. A little leaven levels the whole lump. We are all called to overcome evil with good using our creator's master plan. By His standard, let us proceed.