These Iranian soldiers are at a war memorial near the border with Iraq. I love their natural poses. This is not typical of images that come from Iran but I’ll wager it’s closer to the normal rhythm of life. However, there is every chance, if asked, that they would gladly lay down their lives to defend their families, home and livelihood. They probably have a very accurate view of the decadent atheistic west and regard it with derision. To these fellas that idea that there is not a creator God is derisory. The friction between Iran and Israel is a clash of two profoundly held beliefs in who God is and His plan of salvation for mankind. The problem is that the world is full of false religion and lies and when truth is revealed it will cause anger with those who oppose it.
I do need things such as homes and cars; however, they should not be my focus. Covetousness in my life is revealed by the amount of mental preoccupation and emotional attachment that I develop for things that will not last and that ultimately will not bring fulfillment or give me true satisfaction.
“What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? … The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing. … I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. … I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: I made me pools of water … . And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them … . Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (See Ecclesiastes 1:3–2:11.)
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. ‘The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared’ (Luther).”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community