Thursday, August 29, 2019

Was It Worth It?

     Throughout the Civil War, there were constant outcries against continuing the war, from both Democrats and Republicans.  The voices to bring an immediate end to the hostilities became louder as the casualty lists grew longer.  During the four year conflict, over 620,000 men were killed, which amounted to 2.5 percent of the entire population of the country.  Another 500,000 were wounded in battle, many never to fully recover.  By 1861, the first year of the war, the North was spending 1.5 million dollars every day on the war.  Heading into 1865, the last year of the war, the Federal government was expending 3.5 million dollars a day.  It is estimated that the war cost the country well over 6 billion dollars, an astronomical sum for its time.  The economy of the South was in ruins.  The North, to pay for the war, was in terrible national debt.  But the toll the war took on the lives of men with broken bodies, along with the nation's orphaned and widowed households was incalculable.  As these ghastly numbers multiplied throughout 1861-1865, the same question was asked from Statehouse to farmhouse, "Was it worth it?"  Was all the shed blood, the sweat, the countless tears, and the lost future generations, really worth it?

The best answer to that question would be to ask it of those for whom the war had the most profound effect, such as the slaves.  Ask the men or women, who were taken from their homeland, who were sold like cattle, and treated no better than property. Ask the enslaved if the war was worth it.   Ask the black children of the South, who were denied the right to learn to read or write.  Ask those same children, who faced the real probability of being sold to another slave owner, and never seeing their parents again.  Ask them if they feel the war was worth it.  Ask all the slaves of the Confederate States, whose life expectancy, because of their horrendous living conditions and diet, who only lived half as long as the white population, ask them if they think the war was worth it.  I think we know the answer.

 Maybe we should ask the Founding Fathers, who fought and died to create the United Sates of America.  Ask them if the cost of keeping the Union together was worth the price?  Was not their core passion for a United States, not separate colonies?  Was not their heart-felt goal expressed in the motto, "E Pluribus Unum", which in Latin means, "Out of the many one"?  Ask those patriots what their choice would be, to dissolve the Union, or fight to preserve it?  No matter what the cost.  I think we know the answer.

When the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit looked down upon this lost, broken and rebellious world, they counted the cost to save it.  Before the world was created, before the first rebellious sin of Adam, before you and I were born, God had already decided you and I were worth it.  " He was the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world."  Revelation 13:8

God the Father, had calculated the tremendous cost to win the war for our sinful souls, the sacrifice of His Son, and He decided you and I were worth it. "For while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son."  Romans 5:10
Jesus counted the cost of saving this broken world, and He decided it was worth it. "Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross, for the joy He knew awaited Him."  Hebrews 12:2

Some things in life are worth fighting for, not matter what the cost.  Giving our life to Jesus Christ and living it to honor and please Him, is one of those things worth the price.  Moses taught us that.  "By faith, when Moses was grown up, he refused to be called the son of pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin."  Hebrews 11:24, 25
Ask us Christians if we think the sacrifices we have endured for Christ were worth it.  I think you know the answer.


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