I am the daughter of a WW II veteran and although my father never showed any outward ramifications of serving in the Navy in the Pacific, I cannot believe that any 17-year-old who enters a war comes home unscathed. And I recently ran across a testimony on Omega Letter by, I believe, Jack Kelley. He related how he feels unworthy to be a spokesman for God (I can certainly relate to that statement!), and how he is far from someone who should be held up as a "model Christian" (again, I can identify).
But it was the story of his relationship with his dad, who was also a member of the Greatest Generation and served in the last World War, that caught my attention. He recounted the years of bad blood between him and a father he could never get close to. Maybe it was the years his father spent in an orphanage, before escaping at a tender age and becoming a Depression-era hobo. He 'rode the rails', living in hobo jungles for much of the 1930's. In 1939, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Regiment and shipped out for England.
Maybe it was because his father fought in the first battle against the German-occupied port of Dieppe in 1940; or that he fought in North Africa, was wounded in Sicily, participated in the Normandy Landing on June 6, 1944, fought his way across France, and was among the troops that liberated the Nazi death camps at Dachau. That is a lot of war and human suffering to experience, and it must have left deep spiritual wounds.
Then I recalled an article I wrote a little over a year ago, in which I discussed contributing factors to the increasing rates of suicide among our returning veterans from today's wars. In the post, I referenced something very important: "Veterans are saying it themselves, and identifying what I believe is at the root of their despondency; and it's a darkness that encompasses them, a sinister energy that lies to them, sometimes even seeming to speak to their wounded souls." And I thought, "How many times have my husband and I ministered to desperate people who were hearing voices telling them to kill themselves"? And in each instance, it was a demonic spirit that had been given legal authority to harass and oppress these people by some traumatic event in their lives. What is more traumatic than war???
My mind then seemed to go straight to a memory of reading somewhere that during the Viet Nam War, the native inhabitants placed a curse upon the land so that any foreign enemy who tread upon their nation's ground would be spiritually attacked. I have heard the same about the war in Afghanistan. Is it an urban legend? I honestly don't know, but knowing what I do about territorial assignments given to the ranks of Satan's army, it is absolutely plausible to me.
A quick internet search on Wikipedia for "gods of war" or "war deities" turned up a startlingly immense number of gods and goddesses dedicated to war. Just a quick count told me there were approximately 323 different gods, goddesses, marshals, lords, celestial generals, and commanders associated with war in various cultures. And it was noted that this was just a "partial" list! Of course, Wikipedia called all these "spirits of war" part of each nation or culture's mythology.
But we know differently don't we? The names of these deities are not just part of a nation's cultural stories or myths. They are very real deities and gods, who have been given their power and territories by satan. And what I found especially interesting is the fact that many of these gods are interrelated, or trace their origin or some connection back to ancient gods mentioned in the Bible.
|Gurzil, son of Amon|
There are other gods of war mentioned in the Bible as well. Just a few are Merodach or Marduk, a Babylonian war god (Jeremiah 50:2); Nergal, a war god of Cuth, one of the most important cities of the Babylonian Empire (2 Kings 17:30); Ishtar, or the Queen of Heaven, a goddess of war in both the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires (Jeremiah 7:18). The Bible makes lots of references to the ancient peoples worshipping idols dedicated to these gods.
Therefore, it weighs on my spirit that the world has seen so many wars in the last century, and the millions of men (and now women) whose spirits have suffered due to the demonic oppression associated with war. It just indicates, to me at least, that Satan has been empowering his ranks of evil angels to attack those who have been impacted by war-time curses and/or traumatic events.
It is imperative to understand that this new offensive in Iraq -- and all wars fought by people and nations -- is an extension of the spiritual war that is going on in the spiritual realm between good and evil. In fact, Revelation 16:14 prophesies that in the near future (I believe), "three unclean spirits that looked like frogs, [will come] from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God, the Almighty."
It is clear that demonic spirits are involved with war and influence men to battle each other, and they do it to advance Lucifer's plan to defeat Jesus on the battlefield of Armageddon. We know that the defeat will be Satan's, but in the meantime, these spirits of war are bringing their darkness and sinister energy to our fighting soldiers, and our veterans are hearing the lies that devastate their souls. And it is becoming clear to me that we have no idea how far-reaching these spiritual wounds will be. Think about it ... how many generations have experienced war in the last 100 years of this nation's history? How much legal authority have we given satan and the ranks of his spiritual generals to oppress our young men and women, and their families?
We must begin to help those coming home from war to see that their wounds are more than physical. We must begin to help them heal their spirits and the wounds that war has inflicted upon their souls. We must teach them how to fight not only in this dimension, but in the next. Our God is a spiritual Being, and He does not exist in the wooden or golden idols, carved and dedicated to the very real ancient gods of war. He fights alongside us, going before us into battle, and He is the "Lord of Hosts", who with His army of angels, will soon come with His justice to judge and make war of His own against the wicked and evil of the world.
Until that day, may He have mercy upon those who go into battle at the beck and call of mere men. May He be their refuge and their fortress, and may they feel His loving arms surround them.
Psalm 68:30 "Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute; scatter the peoples who delight in war."