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   idea \ n 1 a : a transcendent entity that is a real pattern of which existing things are     imperfect representations … 2 : a visible representation of a conception : a replica of a pattern … 3 b : an indefinite or unformed conception
    ideal \ n 1 a : a standard of perfection, beauty, or excellence … 2 : [exemplary] taken as a model … 3 : practice that values subjective types or aspects that affirms preeminent value - Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary. G. & C. Merriam Company, 1967

    Imperfect, visible representation of an indefinite or unformed conception … a replica of a pattern – best describes Putin’s unprovoked aggression against, and military incursions into, Ukraine that in but a few months, has transformed its “black earth” into a scorched wasteland soaked with the blood and tears of a people who during the more than 30 years since their independence from the 70-year old Bolshevik reign of terror, had undergone a real metamorphosis into a major producer of agricultural and industrial goods that now lay, as but a valley of Hinnom.
   No war of recent memory has captured the ire, and near unanimity of the global community. One hundred forty-one nations of the 195-member General Assembly of the United Nations in early March, condemned Putin for his inaugural of this war, being prosecuted on the premise of eradicating NAZI ideology; assisting pro-Russian secessionists; and preventing a Sovereign Nation from applying for admission into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) – a mutual defense alliance – but which has murdered untold thousands of civilian Ukrainian lives; internally displaced, and made refugees of millions seeking asylum in other countries; and, irreparably destroyed a nation’s vital infrastructure … not to mention to the cost to his own country in human resources, exhaustion of both civilian and military morale, and the national economy..
   The United States, as of this writing – thirteen weeks into Putin’s War – has committed and will deliver by the end of May, more than 45.3 billion dollars in war and munitions material and humanitarian aid to assist Ukraine’s defense of its homeland and redress the distress of its people..
   NATO nations also have provided military assistance and sanctuary and refuge for its people who have fled their country under siege by the Bully. Unfortunately, Ukraine is not a member of NATO and is precluded from receiving combat assistance, and has only recently, formally applied for membership in the European Union – an application which could be deferred from consideration by Brussels until the war has ended and which might not be approved even, if the country doesn’t emerge victorious, having overcome the prowess of the Bully.
   And so, apart from independent mercenaries who don’t particularly have “a dog in the fight,” no nation has committed troops to the affray … taking instead, the safe view from outside looking in, taking notice alright, of older men, women and children being slain, execution style; gazing upon satellite images of what appears to be mass graves and of a topography once productive, now reduced to rubble and a military junkyard; taking notice of women, young and old, being raped; and of tens of thousands transported to undisclosed destinations in Russia and others, frightened civilians – destitute, afflicted, tormented – some 4 million of whom, having risked traversing combat zones to find refuge to compassionate and hospitable neighbors to the west; while staying behind, huddled in basements, and in dens and caves of the earth are starved, and starving, owing to the bully pledging that not even a fly would get through and undertaken by Russia’s military disrupting supply lines of food, water, and medicine. Nevertheless, courier-volunteers associated with Western charitable enterprises under the auspices of NGO’s (Non-governmental organizations) have, and are, risking their lives to minister to the lives of others, months now under the siege of the Oppressor.
   However, apart from dollars and euros in military and humanitarian assistance that are able to get through what Putin’s fly is not, much of all that is the rest of the world – like Luke’s certain priest and Levite who, in seeing one lying by at roadside, wounded by thieves and left there, half-dead in what was yet half-alive, passed by unconcerned to the other side (Luke 11:30-37) – maybe, just like much of all that is the rest of the world, under cover of He that passes by, [and] meddles with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that takes a dog by the ears, Proverbs 26:17.
But let’s look at this “meddles with strife belonging not to him.” Could it not be argued, that in providing dollars and euros in military aid and humanitarian assistance, these are already meddling with strife belonging not to them, and that just maybe, stopping short of committing human resources in assisting Ukraine in their noble undertaking of preserving the prosperity of a nation’s life, all the rest of the world is but doing little more than dismissing a more active response by saying, “be ye warmed and filled?” (James 2:16).
   Certainly, no one – with perhaps the exception of the Bully, Vladimir Putin, who in ideology, is little different from Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin – wants a wider conflict. But so long as the West is content with imposing economic sanctions which have not been to date, quite so effectual in retarding Putin’s conquest, issuing from the lip condemnatory rhetoric without putting its fist where its mouth is, has but encouraged the Bully who is even now, making plans to carve a land route into Moldova (itself, formerly a satellite Socialist Republic) ostensibly to “liberate” Russian separatists where his armies will continue to replicate a pattern of aggression.
   And so, what needs to be asked, are, “Where will his next incursion take him?” and, “What could have been done more, that all that is the rest of the world has not done?”
  In these perilous times, unsure is the contemporary wisdom that suggests that a people, any people, have the leisure to “pick their battles.” For Putin sees himself reinventing the Soviet system with himself as head-of-tyranny.
   But meanwhile, all that is the rest of the world, like a certain priest and a Levite passing by to the other side, noisily protesting with the lip (which will scarcely assuage the distress of millions made subject to Putin’s carefree annihilation of a people) and charging him as a war criminal (for which crimes against humanity, he will not likely suffer penalties) but confirm their impotence (“fear hath torment,” 1 John 4:18). All that is the rest of the world, unwilling to militarily intervene on grounds that such intervention may potentially ignite a spark that brings on an apocalyptic WW III, prefer instead – at the expense of a nation-state being destroyed along with the genocide of its people – not to collectively risk standing up to the Bully with the deployment of counter-offensive means with which to conclusively thwart his enterprise.
   Indeed, taken as a model, best describes the Ukrainian ideal – a David standing against the Bully who, like Goliath three millennia before him, stands and as much saying, “I defy the armies of the world this day” (see 1 Samuel 17:10). And all the armies of the world, like the armies of ancient Israel, fleeing from before him, sore afraid (1 Sam. 17:24).
   The resolute determination of a people to sacrifice their lives for an ideal should serve as exemplary to all that is the rest of the world… to all that is the rest of the world determined instead, to abstain from engaging risk to its own security from the aggrandizing spirit of the Bully unless, of course, there is come a jeopardy to its own national interest.
   Quite, gone is the West’s ideal of making “the world safe for democracy” – displaced, in favor of what advances national economies of oil and mineral resources; displaced, in favor of warding off threats and hazards to a people’s avocations of leisure; and maybe even, displaced, in favor of sating the appetites of peoples’ stomachs.
   Lastly, we have prayed … even boldly, making petition of Yahweh, even invoking the Words of the Psalmist, “It is time for Thee, O Yahweh, to work …” (Psa. 119:126). We have, on behalf of the Ukrainian people, made intercession that He would, as in the deliverance of Israel 3 and ½ millennia ago from the Pharaoh of the oppression to get Himself honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen that all the Egyptians should know that He is Yahweh (Exod. 14:17), also to get Himself honor upon the aspiring Czar, and upon all his host, upon armored personnel carriers, short- and long-range artillery, aircraft and warships; and biological and chemical munitions.
   Nevertheless, we allow that what we perceive as His tardiness to intervene in this affair of men, is attributable to Him as Sovereign and Supreme Creator in Heaven and over all the fullness of the earth, which is His, the world, and the inhabitants thereof (Psa. 34:1), having no need to give an account of any of His matters (Job 33:14) to any and that it could just be, that rather than He sovereignly executing His time to work, He is waiting for some other – even, all that is the rest of the world … yes, maybe even, because of their national interests – to become a laborer together with Him in this undertaking or, that perhaps this is but a ramping up of the beginning of sorrows toward that end which is not yet (Matt. 24:8, 6).

-Elder John Reece

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