The World Prepares for War and Wakes Up the Might Men

The World Prepares for War and Wakes Up the Might Men
Governments around the world are increasing their spending on their military and discussing conscription in preparation for World War.
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With Russia looking to overwhelm Ukraine, nations are wondering what is coming next. Governments around the world have increased spending, and there is a heated discussion beginning in many nations about reintroducing conscription. This is in keeping with Joel’s prophecy to “wake up the might men” and “beat your plowshares into swords”.

The scriptures are clear about the situation “at the time of the end”. The world will re-militarize in preparation for the coming conflict. Joel clearly outlines the call up:

Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, And your pruninghooks into spears: Let the weak say, I am strong.” (Joel 3:9–10)

The phrase “wake up” carries the meaning of “inciting, awakening, stirring up” armies of “mighty men”. The passage clearly speaks of the transition from a peacetime to a wartime footing.

We have seen that clearly over the past few years, and these last few weeks have seen calls across the globe for an increase in armies, weapons and military spending.

Beat your plowshares into swords

A new report put out on Tuesday by the International Institute for Strategic Studies stated:

“The current military-security situation heralds what is likely to be a more dangerous decade, characterized by the brazen application by some of military power to pursue claims — evoking a ‘might is right’ approach — as well as the desire among like-minded democracies for stronger bilateral and multilateral defense ties in response.’’

Global defense spending rose 9% to $2.2 trillion last year as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

This is the biggest spend on defense in the history of modern mankind.

The report also stated non-U.S. members of NATO have increased their spending by over 30% last year. Eleven countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are now meeting the requirement to spend 2% of their gross domestic product on defense spending.

CBC news reported under a heading “As Europe’s armies brace for war, allies call on Canada and others to catch up.” The reporter stated the following:

In Estonia, they’re talking about building more public bomb shelters and making them mandatory in all newly constructed homes.

In neighbouring Latvia, the government is going through the second draft of mandatory military service legislation. Next door in Lithuania, there’s talk of universal conscription.

“I understand that when we speak from the Baltic perspective, it might sound somewhat dramatic and shocking,” the speaker of the Seimas, Lithuania’s legislature, told CBC News Monday in Ottawa.

“It is obvious that today, democracy itself, democratic countries, democracies all around the world are under pressure from Russia and its autocratic allies.”

The calls throughout Europe, especially amongst those nations bordering Russia are quite alarming. The same article stated:

Two weeks ago in Sweden, a political debate erupted after the country’s two top defence officials warned that war could be on the horizon. Sweden’s Civil Defence Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin and its military commander-in-chief Gen. Micael Byden said people should prepare mentally for the possibility — and begin stocking up on supplies.

The countries closer to Russia are the most aware of the immediacy of the threat. The Washington Post reported on February 12th:

Most of the countries that spent beyond the 2 percent mark either share a border with Russia or sit near the front lines of the Ukraine war.  Poland — which shares part of its northern border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and a long stretch of its southeastern border with Ukraine — spent a greater share of its GDP on defense last year than any other member state, at 3.9 percent.

Politics Germany reported the following February 14th:

Germany will meet NATO’s defense spending target of 2% of its gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since the early 1990s, according to a Defense Ministry spokesman and NATO forecast released Wednesday.

The concern with many European nations is the aggressive actions of Moscow – not just on the field, but in its preparations. The I.I.S.S. article continued:

Moscow has an ambitious rebuilding plan. Russia’s military spending in 2024 will increase to 7.1 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) and will account for 35 per cent of total government spending, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer, chair of NATO’s Military Council, stated the following was reported in the article as stating:

“I think a nation needs to understand that when it comes to a war, as we see in Ukraine, it is a whole-of-society event. The West, he said, has for decades been labouring under the belief that “the professional military … would solve these security issues that we had in Afghanistan in Iraq.”

That approach isn’t good enough any longer, he said.

“You will need more people from society to sustain the military in terms of people,” he said. “You need the industry to have enough ammunition to produce new tanks, new ships, new aircraft, new artillery pieces. All that is part of this discussion of a whole-of-society event.

“I think more people need to understand it’s not just something of the armed forces and money. We need to be readier across the whole spectrum.”

The spectre of war — not just adventurous foreign wars, where elite soldiers are sent off on missions, but war on the home front, where every aspect of society is involved  —  is becoming a real and present danger.

There has been an exponential growth in funding nations are spending on their military. According to a publication Defence and Military Analysis: Era of Insecurity,

Russia’s territorial ambitions also have spurred several governments in Europe to refresh their security thinking. Germany published a first national security strategy, and the UK issued an update to its Defence Command Paper. All made clear that national security is no longer an afterthought and that looming challenges require serious attention.

The paper went on to state that nations are “building back” their defences:

Fighting in Ukraine has exposed how far armed forces and defence industries have fallen in their ability to rapidly replenish munitions stocks. In the aftermath of the Cold War, many Western forces drew down or largely relinquished stockpiles amid pressure from politicians to eliminate inventories that were judged excessive in the absence of a clear threat. Now, military leaders and some politicians acknowledge that was a mistake and are reversing course.

The United Kingdom, as part of its updated command paper, said it would invest a further GBP2.5 billion (USD3bn) to make its munitions stockpile more resilient. Australia set up a guided weapons and explosive-ordnance enterprise to ensure adequate supply. Washington and Canberra also agreed to work together to enable the potential co-production of Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems in Australia by 2025 and for the country to be able to produce some 155mm artillery shells. Germany expanded an existing framework agreement to buy 120mm tank ammunition from Rheinmetall, giving the company greater certainty over long-term demand. And at the end of the year Finland announced it would double ammunition production capacity by 2027. But realizing some of these ambitions proved problematic. The European Union was on track to miss, by a wide margin, its target of delivering Ukraine 1 million 155mm shells within a year by March 2024.

This means fulfilling the words of Joel, and moving from a peace-footing to a war footing:

Admiral Robert Bauer, the chair of NATO’s Military Committee, said governments may have to make some investments in industry to assure resilience in case of conflict. ‘If we want to have the ability to scale up because of a war, then we need to have factories that probably are empty and doing nothing for ten years, but when it is necessary, they need to be up and running within a month.’

In Britain, media outlets are also reporting of the alarm being raised by governments:

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warned recently that the UK is adapting to a ‘pre-war world’.

Former minister Tobias Ellwood, who served in the army, cautioned there is a ‘1939 feel to the world’ and Britain is ‘not prepared’.

‘We’ve been too complacent. What’s coming over the horizon should shock us. It should worry us and we are not prepared.

‘Patrick Sanders is saying prepare for what’s coming over the horizon – there is a 1939 feel to the world right now,’ he told Sky News.

‘These authoritarian states are rearming.

‘There’s a risk averseness about the West in wanting to deal with that and our global institutions such as the United Nations aren’t able to hold these errant nations to account.’

The article went on to state:

While the UK is currently spending around 2.2 per cent of GDP, Sir Patrick pointed out Russia is ‘spending nearly 40 per cent of public expenditure on defence’. ‘This is not merely about the re-establishment of a Russian empire, it is about defeating our system and way of life politically, psychologically and symbolically.

NATO’s Secretary General was reported by Politics Germany as stating:

“This year I expect 18 allies to spend 2% of their GDP on defense. That is another record number,” Stoltenberg said during a pre-ministerial press conference in Brussels. He said this represented a six-fold increase from 2014 when only three allies met the target. He praised an “unprecedented” 11% increase in defense spending in the 31-nation alliance.

Military expert Professor Michael Clarke, a former director of the Royal United Services Institute told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘The peace dividend is over. We don’t have any innate right to assume in Europe that we live in peace and security, by doing nothing we will not live in peace and security. We’ve got to do something about it. The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which really crossed a line, in 2022 I think has been a wake up call…’

Once again, reiterating the words of the prophet Joel – and calling on the governments to “wake up the men of war.”

Wake up the Might Men

It is not good enough to have weapons and money. Armies are built out of soldiers. The time of the end sees masses of soldiers invading the nation of Israel. Ezekiel describes the host:

Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.” (Ezekiel 38:9)

This great cloud is comprised of many people as he later describes:

And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 38:15–16)

Daniel likewise describes this host:

And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.” (Daniel 11:40)

Joel adds to the picture as well:

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision (or threshing): For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14)

The armies of the world have been dwindling over the past thirty years, since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The alarm is being sounded all over the globe. Australia News .com reported:

Earlier this month the chair of NATO’s military committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, said civilians in member states should be prepared for a potential future war with Russia. A large number of civilians would have to be called up if conflict accelerates in Europe, he added.

The Daily Mail reported on General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff in the UK:

He said: ‘We need an Army designed to expand rapidly to enable the first echelon, resource the second echelon and train and equip the citizen army that must follow.

‘Within the next three years it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000, folding in our reserve and strategic reserve. But this is not enough.

‘Our friends in eastern and northern Europe, who feel the proximity of the Russian threat more acutely, are already laying foundations for national mobilisation.

‘Taking preparatory steps to enable placing our societies on a war footing when needed are now not merely desirable, but essential.’

Sir Patrick’s reference to a “citizen army” is a call for conscription. His call was echoed by Professor Michael Clarke, a former director of the Royal United Services Institute, who stated:

‘Numbers matter… If we look at our experience in the 20th Century at some point, if you get yourself involved in war or if you are trying to deter a major war, at some point you have to be able to commit numbers – not just have a small force that when it is gone, it is gone.

‘That’s what happened to us in the first and second World Wars, our professional army was effectively destroyed early on.

‘But then that provided the core of a citizen volunteer army in the First World War, and then a citizen conscript army in the Second World War – much much bigger – which went on to win.’

General Sir Richard Sherriff, ex-deputy , ex-deputy supreme allied commander of the military organisation, warned that the UK defence budget is not big enough to expand the armed forces alone. He told Sky News:

“Conscription to most professional soldiers, and I count myself as one, is absolute anathema.

“Britain’s armed forces have traditionally and culturally relied on long service volunteer highly professional soldiers with huge experience – and that is really the way we would all want it to go on.”

However, given the current global situation and defence funding cuts since the end of the Cold War, he said: “I think we need to get over many of the cultural hang-ups and assumptions, and frankly think the unthinkable.”

“I think we need to go further and look carefully at conscription,” he said.

During WWI, future Prime Minister Churchill, when he lost his role as First Lord of the Admiralty, joined the armed forces in the trench of Europe. Following suit, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson applauded General Sanders and encouraged young people to sign up for the military in his January 27th column. Boris stated

So you betcha — if it really came to it, I would be there in the dugout with General Sanders, and I bet there are many readers who feel the same.

Adding later on in his article:

“If you want peace, prepare for war.”

This is a prospect that that nobody wants to contemplate, and many politicians recoil from, but it is being discussed at high levels throughout the world.

The German publication DW reported in December:

Even conscription, something Germany ended in 2011, is also up for debate. “There were reasons at the time to suspend compulsory military service. In retrospect, however, it was a mistake,” Pistorius told newspaper Die Welt earlier in December.

He also cited the case of Sweden, where compulsory military service was suspended and then reintroduced. “I’m looking at models, such as the Swedish model, where all young men and women are conscripted and only a select few end up doing their basic military service. Whether something like this would also be conceivable here is part of these considerations,” said Pistorius.

Pistorius is the German minister of defence.

In Germany, this is being touted on by the opposition as well:

Johann Wadephul, deputy leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) parliamentary group, told DW: “The CDU’s position here is clear: we are in favor of general compulsory service, i.e. service in the Bundeswehr, but also in other emergency services.” The latter would include fire departments, the Federal Agency for Technical Relief and a number of charitable organizations set up to help in crisis situations.

Euro News also reported in January:

With peace in the region no longer a given, many Western capitals began asking if conscription was a solution to their security fears, at times igniting firey debate.

Lithuania in August announced plans to extend its draft, joining Denmark, while German and British politicians have suggested reviving compulsory military service.

“Europe’s armed forces, particularly those on the border with Russia, now realise they don’t have enough manpower,” said Vincenzo Bove, professor of political science at Warwick University, who specialises in conscription. “They clearly see conscription as a solution to that.”

This debate isn’t isolated to Europe. The Australian news agency ran a headline on January 28th reading:

Australia must consider bringing back conscription as ‘all-out war’ with Russia looms, expert says.

The article stated:

Rapidly rising global tensions in eastern Europe and the Middle East threaten to “drag Australia into an orbit of an open confrontation”, Dr Alexey Muraviev, Associate Professor of National Security and Strategic Studies at Curtin University, said.

He added it may be “time for Australia to consider another uncomfortable subject — the return of national service”.

“As the risk of Australia being drawn into a major war increase, we are facing a short window of opportunity to address some of the shortfalls in our defence capability.”

The article went on to report former Prime Minister Tony Abbot in a speech to high school graduates:

‘Saying to people who turn 18 or who leave school, “We expect you to spend a significant period of time, six months, 12 months, whatever, doing something for our country, giving something back, whether it’s putting on the uniform and becoming at least a basically trained infantry soldier”,’ Mr Abbott said in a podcast.

  • The American navy has 333,000 sailors, and 1 million soldiers (including the air force)
  • The Russian navy has 160,000 sailors, and 1.16 million soldiers.
  • Germany has 16,500 sailors, and 170,000 active soldiers in its army.
  • France has 37,000 sailors and 118,000 active soldiers in its army.
  • Britain has 27,000 sailors and 76,000 active soldiers.
  • The Australian Navy has 15,000 sailors, with 57,500 regular soldiers in its army.
  • Canada’s navy has 8400 sailors.  The entire Canadian navy could fit on two US aircraft carriers (Including the reserves). The average US aircraft carrier requires 6000-6500 crew. The US currently has 11 in active service. The Canadian armed forces has approximately 68,000 armed forces.
  • New Zealand has 2,000 active sailors with 4,200 regular soldiers its army.

When the crisis predicted in the Bible arrives, there will be massive call ups across the globe as the nation’s take the roles assigned to them by the Bible. Many countries are discussing that call up now. We need to be prepared to face the challenges ahead.

As we watch the Bible in the News, it is important to realize that no matter what the world thinks and plans for, the Bible tells us what is coming.

[or confidently]

” (v11&28). Its the Hebrew word “beṭaḥ”.

Currently of course the land is certainly not dwelling safely – nor has it really done so since the nation was born in 1948.

In recent years the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza has been constantly launching rockets into Israel on a daily basis. The recent conflict, sparked by the terrorist attacks on October 7th last year is another case in point.
So something has to change for the people of Israel to be “dwelling safely”.

For many years the Israelis have attempted diplomacy. In fact in 2005 they withdrew from Gaza completely. Gaza is not occupied by Israel. The Palestinian peoples though elected Hamas – a decision which eventually led to the horrific attacks on Jewish civilians in October and the subsequent invasion of Gaza by the Israeli army.

Hamas Charter

Hamas’ charter, also known as  “The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement” was issued on August 18, 1988 and has not changed since then.

Within it, it states:

“The land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [Holy Possession] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. No one can renounce it or any part, or abandon it or any part of it.” (Article 11)
“Palestine is an Islamic land… Since this is the case, the Liberation of Palestine is an individual duty for every Moslem wherever he may be.” (Articl e 13)
“The day the enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In the face of the Jews’ usurpation, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.” (Article 15)
“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” (Preamble)

Its clear from this aggressive stance that any diplomatic attempt with the Palestinians is not going to end in peace without the ideology of Hamas being removed. Its impossible for the situation described in the Bible to exist whilst groups like Hamas hold sway in the area.
Therefore the recent war between Israel and Hamas is of great interest to the Bible student.


Israel rejects Hamas Deal

Its interesting then as we watch events unfold. Unlike previous incursions into Gaza this recent war seems different.

In response to the Oct 7th attacks, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declared “We will take mighty vengeance for this wicked day”. He has repeatedly stated the goal of “destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities.” (30.10.2023 The Israelis resisted for some time the international pressure for a cease fire. At the end of October Netanyahu was quoted to have said “…the Bible says that ‘there is a time for peace and a time for war.’ This is a time for war. A war for our common future,” (30.10.2023 AA). It seems the Israelis are committed to dismantling Hamas in order to bring peace.

And this assumption seems to be playing out.

This last week Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, rejected a peace proposal from Hamas.

The Mail Online reported this in an article entitled “Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu rejects Hamas’ ‘delusional’ hostage deal proposal and insists ‘total victory’ is the only path to peace” dated 8th February.

The report went on to say: “Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’s ‘delusional’ proposal for a hostage deal last night and pledged a ‘total victory’ was the only path to peace. The Israeli Prime Minister slammed the terrorists’ demands as ‘bizarre’ and said to agree to them would ‘only invite another massacre’ when they are ‘a finger away from a decisive victory’… the terror group demands also call for a complete withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza and would effectively allow Hamas to rebuild its military and remain in power.

It also states that a third of Palestinians freed in exchange for the hostages would be those handed life sentences. Mr Netanyahu responded unequivocally, stating: ‘Surrendering to Hamas’ delusional demands that we heard now not only won’t lead to freeing the captives, it will just invite another massacre.’ ‘We are on the way to an absolute victory,’ Netanyahu said, adding that the operation would last months, not years. ‘There is no other solution,’ he said as he called for the ‘total elimination of Hamas.’ He ruled out any arrangement that leaves Hamas in full or partial control of Gaza and said that Israel is the ‘only power’ capable of guaranteeing security in the long term.”

It seems then Israel is on the cusp of victory and in removing Hamas from power. Could this then pave the way for them “dwelling safely” as the prophets of the Bible have told us they would?


Ultimate peace is coming

We know from our studies that ultimate peace will only be possible when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. In Isa 9:6 he has the title “The Prince of Peace”.

It is only after the great battle with the nations and the establishment of the Kingdom that peace will truly be experienced by God’s people of Israel.

Ezekiel 28 tells us about that time “Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely (beṭaḥ) therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence (beṭaḥ), when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them rounad about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.”

So we watch and wait for that day, with Bibles in hand knowing that God’s kingdom is coming soon.


Join us again next week for another Bible in the News


Thanks for listening to this weeks Bible in the News, this has been David Billington. Please come back next week to

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