War is an enigma to most people. In a place at war, people change quickly. Reports of murders, rape, and other inhumane acts are coming out of Ukraine. These things are happening to people who only a few weeks ago were going to work, paying bills, and making their way through day-to-day life.
Today, their world has little resemblance to yesterday's comfortable existence. Mother and sister may have traveled away to relative safety. Father and son stayed behind and now carry guns and are at risk of losing their lives each time they walk onto the street. Yesterday's park is a fortified position. Yesterday's rooftop restaurant is an observation post.
Teenagers have lost their innocence and once young faces now bare the aging weight of responsibility. "Freedom" is no longer a word assigned as an essay in yesterday's classroom. Today the student, turned soldier, weeps over the lifeless body of a childhood friend who has just defined freedom's price.
What can a Ukrainian do with news of murders and rapes accurring to their neighbors? How do they tolerate the injustice they see? When those who shot down unarmed people just walk away to live another day, how do Ukrainians get a grasp on the sad truth that the guilty will probably not pay for their unspeakable crimes?
There was a man in the Bible who asked the same questions. His name was Habakkuk. His country was being overrun by an invading army (the Babylonians) and he saw with his own eyes the violence done to his neighbors. Why wasn't God stopping it? Where was this great and good God when innocent people were being tortured and murdered by the invaders? Habakkuk was asking what many Ukrainians are asking right now. "If You are such a good God, why don't you do something?" "How can You stand by watching this happening?"
God's response was to show Habakkuk the destruction of the wicked at the end of the world. When he saw what happens to those wicked people, somehow, it satisfied him. When God, at the end of the world, punishes the wicked in fire that consumes them, it will be enough to answer all our questions about payback. The wicked will not escape their crimes. An all-seeing God will require a full payment when it is His time for justice. Until then, Habakkuk said, "The just shall live by faith."
We may live knowing that every crime, every act of hatred, and every murder will be punished in full by Almighty God. His time for dispensing justice to the wicked is not our time. We must continue to believe in Him and know that when He requires payment for sins committed, it will be enough. No one is getting away with anything they do to others, even in war. God will punish the wicked. None will escape.
The only hope for criminals of all kinds is to come to God. The Lord promises to punish the wicked in such a way that is equal to their sins. That same God holds out His hand to all who are covered in their victims' blood and begs them to repent of their sinful ways and to accept Christ into their hearts.
God bless you, Ukraine.