On February 24, Russia shocked the world by invading Ukraine. Yet, Vladimir Putin has been seeking to expand his territory for years, and so has China. Ben Shapiro recounts in “Putin Wakes Up the Western Ostrich:”

When Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, the West did nothing. When Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, the West did nothing. When China abrogated its treaty with the U.K. and took over Hong Kong in 2020, the West did nothing. And, of course, President Joe Biden precipitously removed American support for the Afghan regime, toppling it in favor of the Taliban.

This state of affairs has a historical ring to it.

When Germany annexed Austria in 1938, the European leaders did nothing. When Hitler demanded the Sudetenland, France, Britain, and Italy appeased him. When he captured the rest of Czechoslovakia in 1939, the Europeans again capitulated.

When Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Europe finally woke up and realized there was no appeasing Hitler’s appetite for Lebensraum. In 1940, Germany proceeded to capture much of Europe.

The Cold War Ends?

When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, and China opened up its economy to capitalism in the 1990s, I and much of the Western world were lulled into believing that most of the nations were going to play by the rules of modern civilization: respect sovereign borders and engage in fair trade.

Naive and careless, our leaders have based their foreign policies on this false premise of world peace, which Shapiro labels

“…ostrich foreign policy: a willingness to place security considerations last, and to pursue utopian goals with alacrity. Germany spent decades making itself more dependent on Russian natural gas and oil in order to pursue the dream of green energy, meanwhile slashing its defense budget as a percentage of GDP. France acted similarly. So did the United Kingdom.

The Western leaders have forgotten (or rejected) the truth that man’s sinful nature has never changed. Thus, some leaders will still break the rules and destroy peace. As it is said, “Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Similar to the leaders of Israel when Babylon approached, the appeasing leaders declared “Peace, peace…when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).

False Utopia vs. Last Days

Since Plato, men have encouraged people to chase after the rainbow’s end for utopia. Yet, they never find it. Often the pursuit leads to disaster, as the history of various communist nations bears testimony to. Instead of returning to Eden, they find death.

God never promised a man-made peace on earth. He did promise a time of restoration and peace for his people, but only when he establishes his millennial kingdom.

In the last days
The mountain of the house of the Lord
Will be established as the chief of the mountains,
And will be raised above the hills;
And all the nations will stream to it.
And many peoples will come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
To the house of the God of Jacob;
That He may teach us concerning His ways
And that we may walk in His paths.”
For the law will go forth from Zion
And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
And He will judge between the nations,
And will render decisions for many peoples;
And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not lift up sword against nation,
And never again will they learn war.

Isaiah 2:2-4 NASB1995

Many long for the day when all the nations will beat their swords into plowshares. Before this day of peace arrives, however, the world will continue to experience conflict as Jesus warned his disciples:

You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Matthew 24:6-8 NASB1995

Over the past two thousand years, war and natural disasters pervade history, fulfilling Jesus’ prophecy. Watch this video to see how the land in Eurasia and Northern Africa has changed hands since the year 1000.

Looking at international affairs from a biblical worldview, one must recognize that nations will always be at war until Christ returns. This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t try to make peace. Jesus did say that blessed are the peacemakers.

Yet, we should expect war and natural disasters to be the norm. We ought not to follow those who believe man can create world peace.