How much can go for good if it doesn’t go towards war?
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
Germany and Japan were among the most astonishing economies of the 20th century, or at least Japan was until it hit a large recession. Neither had to spend a lot of money on national defense, and in theory Japan is still not supposed to have a standing military. This is part of what enabled them to rebuild after WWII.
The United States, however, not only took on protection of West Germany and Japan, but it got involved in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and several other smaller skirmishes. It has taken decades, but the staggering amount we spend on defense is beginning to take its toll.
Yesterday, the Boston Globe wrote in “Fighting the Islamic State — how much will it cost?“:
The combined cost of abandoning planned cutbacks at the Defense Department, new spending to combat the Islamic State, and extra foreign military assistance means that America will wind up spending up to $100 billion more on military activities than we had expected this year alone.
And, as the article makes clear, it is difficult to project just how much a war really costs because of having to treat wounded veterans long term afterwards. Today, we pay an estimated $4 billion per year just for the 1991 Gulf War in compensation.
As Dave Myers said in his sermon today, the above passage (he used the one from Micah) shows that things or war and destruction will be used for good and growth. God will turn these things on their head.
God speed that day!