In response to Mr. Tilly’s misguided statement on world peace (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 18), Mr. Tilly states:
“Never in my lifetime has the world been more peaceful than it is today.”
There are approximately 34 major wars and conflicts are being fought today, causing a number of deaths, leaving many homeless and causing people to escape from their countries and seek refuge in other countries. These conflicts include: the Afghan civil war, Somali civil war, Iraq war, war in North West Pakistan, Arab-Israeli conflict, conflict in the Niger Delta, Côte d’Ivoire crisis, etc. Source is Wikipedia.
Thousands of world leaders and media personalities speak and dream of a coming world peace, usually with good intentions, but the Bible paints an entirely different picture. The Bible has much to say about peace and also about the conditions for peace. In fact, one could rightly claim the Bible as God’s “peace treaty.” All of God’s conditions for peace are laid out in the Bible for everyone to read. But, as we shall see, when one rejects God’s peace treaty, he rejects peace altogether.
“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I … will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid.” (Lev. 26:3, 6) “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.” (Lev. 26:14-17)
Who gets peace in the Bible? Those who obey God’s commandments. A nation that lives as though the Bible had never been written is a nation that will not know peace. The same is true in any home or any church. When God’s word is applied, it establishes peace. When it is not applied, men have war. That’s a fact of life that world leaders refuse to accept, therefore they will never know peace.
Also see Deuteronomy 29:18-20, I Kings 9:22, Psalm 28:3, 34:14, 119:165, 120:7 and Isaiah 48:18-22.
“The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.” (Mal. 2:6) Notice that peace here is preceded by truth. (Also see the same order in Mark 5:33-34.) God doesn’t grant peace to those who are too cowardly to search out and embrace truth. One of God’s conditions for peace is the acceptance of truth.
Those who run from truth run into war and hardship. In the Bible, wicked Ahab thought he would return from battle in peace, but he returned dead because he rejected the truth as preached from the mouth of Micaiah. (I Kings 22)
As long as people seek to fill their minds with everything but the Bible, they will have everything but peace. Homes will be wrecked, churches will split, political groups will fight within our borders, and the military will fight beyond. There will be no peace until truth is more valuable to men than popularity, money, or power.
Peace is for a special people, not people in general. The world thinks that a person or nation is entitled to peace if they want peace. That’s the world’s only condition: if you want to live in peace, then you should be allowed to live in peace. That’s the world-view, but not God’s view.
God has a very different view, and, since God is the only real giver of peace, man will have to meet God’s conditions or do without. There’s no other source for peace. Man can’t buy it at any price. God has the product, and no one else does. If man wants peace, he’ll have to go to God and get it: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mat. 6:33) “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Rom. 14:17) When will man find peace? When he seeks the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Self righteousness is man’s problem! The first murder on this earth was committed for this very reason (Gen. 4), and billions have died and went to Hell because of it since then, yet every generation thinks they’ll produce the magic potion for a lasting peace. Men never learn, and peace never comes, because God’s peace treaty is continually refused. See Deuteronomy 23:6 and II Chronicles 15:1-5.
Like heaven itself, peace is not for everyone. “The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.” (Psa. 29:11) Peace is for GOD’S people, not everyone. Those who seek it without first becoming children of God are guilty of theft, and such people will be judged for their crime. The more the world seeks for peace, the more war they generate. This explains the miserable failure of the United Nations over the past five decades.
Peace is like a location on a map to which one must travel. Does man know the way? No, he does not. Isaiah 59:8 says, “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.” Man thinks that if enough world leaders can agree to live peaceably without fighting then we can have world peace. God says that this is not the way. It seems like the way, but it is NOT the way.
What if man did establish a lasting world peace? What would be accomplished by this? Yes, it would be great on the surface to live on earth in peace, but what would be the long term effect? Answer: more sin, more rebellion, more infidelity, more atheism, and more apostasy! Men don’t seek God during peaceful times. It is during such times that men pursue their carnal and selfish dreams. It is during such times that churches fall into apostasy. War, hardship, and persecution tend to bring out the best in people, while peace and prosperity do just the opposite.
Luke 2:14 offers some words of peace. Here, at the birth of Christ, we find the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Naturally, these words are slaughtered every Christmas by at least 80 percent of the preachers in the country. Notice the proper order is “glory to God” (first) and “peace, good will toward men” (second). When will men have peace and good will? Not until God has the glory.
David Nowak, Weatherford