Engines of War
Help, Lord, for the godly are no more;
the faithful have vanished from among men.
Everyone lies to his neighbor;
their flattering lips speak with deception.
In The Lord of the Rings, Lord Sauron seeks the ring that will give him complete power over Middle Earth. He is a dark presence who would control everything even if that means creating a wasteland using his vast forces of destruction and evil.
Sauron is a character in a novel, but we don’t need to look too deeply into our own time to find the same lust for mayhem spreading its shadow of death over a credulous world. Thunderous cannons shake the land because determined rulers have banished God from the earth. When men attempt to live without God, “there is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 14:3).
According to Paul, a godless world looks very much like the world Sauron envisions: “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood: ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know” (Romans 3:13–17).
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts