Sow the Wind-Reap the Whirlwind
"For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind"
Winston Churchill spoke these words from Hosea in the early days of WWII, referring to Nazi Germany. Hence followed the most horrendous war in world history.
The prophet Hosea wrote in judgment of Israel for their disobedience, for their refusal to follow God's call, for their refusal to be God's gift, for their denial of their chosenness.
I see a parallel between Hosea's time and today, between Nazi Germany and ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant. Proclaiming a new Caliphate, these barbarians murder the innocent, massacre those who follow a different faith, sell women as slaves, turn children into soldiers or slaves, slit the throats of prized prisoners (on camera), force surrendered soldiers to lay down on their stomachs in a ditch and then shoot them in the head, all the while shouting "Allah Akbar!"
ISIL makes the same misguided assumption all nations, all conquering soldiers shout: "God is with us!" The warrior uses God to psych-up for wielding death. Little do they know of the weeping God.
God does not will war, or murder, or massacre, or genocide, or discrimination, or lack of tolerance, or rape, or.... It is we who will to kill the body and the spirit.
God is not mocked. We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7). God's judgment works itself out through human response, not through God pulling strings and activating our trigger fingers. As Paul writes in Romans 13: 3-4: "For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad....But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain." God does not bear the sword, or the AK-47, or the AR-15, or the RPG. Those in authority in the world bear the sword. We ought not confuse the authority we claim as God's authority. God is not a killer. Remember: "For God so loved the world...."
God has set humanity free to choose life. God's will is that we choose life. God has chosen us that we can choose life. In Creation, in Jesus, in Baptism, God chooses us. God's grace is God's chosenness.
But if we reject our chosenness, we choose death. We are on our own. We are the "captains of our fate." We have chosen to "sow the wind", create chaos, sound death's bugle. The outcome is the grave. We will "reap the whirlwind".
Thankfully, God is merciful. God says we are not on our own. All the while as we shoot our rifles, send in the drones, provide air support, plant our IUDs, call out to our God for strength to kill, sow the wind and reap the whirlwind, God's mercy still claims us, calls us to repentance, to turn away from death to life, to seek reconciliation, to make for peace.
The response of the Western nations, as well as some of the Middle Eastern nations, to ISIL is a living out of Hosea's judgment. As God's judgment is UPON ALL of us, so also is God's mercy FOR ALL of us.