It was on this day in 1943 that the last German Army in Stalingrad, Russia, surrendered to the Red Army. This marked the turning point on the eastern front and ended an enormous string of victories for the Nazis. In fact, this battle was the beginning of the end for the Nazi regime. With the surrender of Stalingrad, the Red Army would continue to keep the pressure on the Nazis, depleting troops and supplies from the western front to the east. Unfortunately for the Nazis, those troops and supplies sent to the east would be needed desperately needed in the summer of 1944.
So it is with all wicked men and nations. They always overplay their hand, reach too far, and eventually spread themselves too thin. When they commit such follies, it only takes the right bit of momentum from the other side to cause everything to crumble. As their world crumbles, it’s typical for these types to start blaming everyone else except themselves; Hitler certainly did. All of this is just another reminder to us of what Solomon said:
There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:12)
As history has verified for us so many times, when destruction comes, it comes very suddenly. Though it may take decades to develop, the end comes very quickly. In fact, Paul says that when everyone thinks all is well and they can enjoy peace and safety, sudden destruction comes upon them. This principle applies to men and nations past and present, and one day will be the case for all mankind with the coming of the Messiah.
Daniel describes the destruction of the world’s kingdoms in Daniel 2, with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the subsequent interpretation given by Daniel. The image in the dream had a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, two legs of iron, and two feet with ten toes. The two feet with the ten toes were made of iron mingled with potter’s clay. Pay close attention to how Daniel describes that final kingdom of man:
And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. (Daniel 2:42-45)
When Messiah comes to take His throne, all the kingdoms of man must be broken into pieces and come into submission to His kingdom. When this happens, it will occur very quickly. Though man’s efforts to ignore and to resist God’s ways have been somewhat successful through the generations, destruction is coming to those who resist His purposes. Like all wicked men and wicked nations before, the wicked of today will eventually overreach. They will stretch themselves too thin and, at a time that God has appointed, He will cast a stone and everything that man has built will fall. Therefore, we should not trust in the power of men or governments; we should trust in the One who created man and all that there is.
As His people, we also must be careful not to overreach and stretch ourselves too thin. Chances are, some of us might have already done this and paid the price for it. If so, we must ask the Father to forgive us and to restore us to His intended purpose for our lives. Let us focus on the things that He’s given us to do, and then determine to do it the right way, that is, His way.