AS CHILDREN in many of our church schools, we were taught to sing a song whose words say this: «I may never march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry, shoot the artillery; I may never fly o’er the enemy, but I’m in the Lord’s army.» It is just a song with a metaphor, but unfortunately, there are many children in the world for whom this is absolutely not a metaphor, but a reality. I am talking about child soldiers. Yes, they are true soldiers, as difficult as that may be to believe. In a world in which most countries protect that modern concept called «children’s rights,» there are bloody wars in which they are protagonists.
At the present time and according to data from UNICEF, there are more than three hundred thousand child soldiers in the various armed conflicts that unfold in the world. For all these boys and girls, war is real, not a game, and they are combatants, whether carrying weapons and shooting, serving as messengers, being involved in suicide attacks, or working as cooks and sex slaves (particularly girls). How have they arrived at that situation? There are several paths: because someone kidnapped them, because their families were very poor and the soldiers offered to take their children and feed them, because of matters of revenge or mistreatment What is certain is that these children are forced to witness terrible scenes that cause lifelong trauma in them (that is if they do not lose their lives).
How our world has deteriorated! The Scriptures had already heralded it. They also comfort us and let us know that the time will come when all this will end once and for all. With right and justice on His side, the Lord will punish the inhabitants of the earth and the earth will not hide its dead anymore, «for true and righteous are His judgments» (Revelation 19:2). Finally, the time will come when He will punish humanity for its cruel actions of violence against so many innocent people. If it hurts us to see how a child is used, exploited, mistreated, and sent to the battlefront, imagine how much more it hurts God.
Lord, help us to be sensitive to the terrible social realities of the world and thank You because You will soon bring salvation and liberation.
«The Lord is coming from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their sins; the earth will reveal the blood that has been shed on it, and will no longer conceal its slain» (Isaiah 26:21, NLV).