Glennon suggests that the failure of the United Nations was the result of the pernicious idea that states are sovereign equals. This was compounded by assumptions based on some kind of natural law. In diplomacy "rules must flow from the way states actually behave, not how they ought to behave." The plain fact is that "states pursue security by pursuing power" and nations never feel "bound by rules to which they do not agree."
Glennon's article should remind us that Christians need not waste time lamenting the demise of the United Nations as a peace-keeping and international judicial authority. The Jewish and Christian Old Testament makes clear that empires have always pursued the use of force for their own purposes. There are hierarchies of power among the nations. Empire is not wrong in itself. It can be used to promote peace and justice among people, but when an empire oppresses other nations the Lord will intervene in his own time to topple it in a Day of the Lord. The last hundred years of our history is evidence enough for this divine activity all over our world.
There is no such thing as natural law (laws of nature apart from God).
But the prophets did set out to discover what kinds of behavior please
and displease the Sovereign King who rules among the nations. Micah got
it right. "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to
love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). Ordered
justice, care for widows, orphans, prisoners, aliens, and the poor and
oppressed, are important. National arrogance is an abomination. As are
priestcraft and idolatry. Thanksgiving sweetens a whole culture, and God
responds when a nation turns to him in repentance and prayer.