Since the time when God first created man, we have struggled to be at peace with ourselves and others. From that fateful Eve when the mother of humanity engaged in conversation with the deceiver, we have listened to lies and our own selfish desires. Why? Because it’s human nature. Eve thought it would be cool to know good and evil and that wily snake, AKA Satan, used that lie to draw her into disobedience, thereby ushering her and all of mankind into conflict, unrest and turmoil. Once they tended the Garden of Eden in peace, now they had to toil to till the land. Just read Genesis 3-7 to see how much mankind deteriorated into immorality and evil, which is in sharp contrast to the amazing events preceding the fall.
Next in line for disturbing the peace is Cain, full of hatred and jealousy for his brother, so he murders him and he becomes a marked man. Then the tribes and nations become so wicked that God destroys almost everyone in the Great Flood except Noah’s family who was sheltered from the storm. Years later, Joseph’s brothers throw him into a pit to die because of their jealousy for him. Down the line, Pharaoh enslaves the Israelites for his own resources and because he fears them and not God. The list of hatred, anger and lack of peace goes on and on and is chronicled in the following books, as well as God’s plan to redeem mankind from themselves. If you don’t think the world is in need of redeeming, just look at some more history.
From the beginning of recorded history, we have been plagued by wars, battles, controversies, disagreements, arguments, and discord. Today isn’t very different, though the frequency and intensity of these conflicts appears to be on the increase. The Middle East is a hotbed of unrest as well as parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America. Where does our hope lie? In modern medicine, science, human endeavors? Sure many of these have offered some solutions, but not the answer to the ache in humanity’s soul.
Peace can only be brought about by the author of peace, Jesus Christ. He lifts people up from their own base desires and encourages them to be unselfish. He bestows love freely and imparts the ability to love others unconditionally. Some people are able to attain a certain level of this for those they love or for short periods of time, but without God being present in your life, it usually doesn’t extend to your enemies. That is another reason why there is no worldwide peace.
Man is not only entrenched in a battle against other men, but in a spiritual battle. Many strongholds of hatred and conflict are due to generations of spiritual strongholds in a particular area. People may be unaware, but strongholds of hatred, conflict, jealousy, and almost any kind of moral depravity have existed for centuries. This is where Satan is very clever. He can disguise himself as a gentleman or a very appealing fellow. Yet today he no longer needs to slink about, but is now openly flagrant and flaunts his sin, just like Israel did. “Their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence. The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves” (Isaiah 3: 8-9). Some people think that their rebellion to do what they want is freedom from the laws of God and will bring peace, but in reality they are Satan’s pawns and it will bring disaster and unrest.
Others think they are following the truth, which sometimes manifests itself in crimes and persecutions against Christians. At other times, their views create inner conflict, but more often it ties its victims with the cords of selfishness, which is enough to rob society of peace. Arguments and fighting easily erupt; selfish desires replace altruism. More often than not, the “do your own thing” mentality blinds people to their true purpose, robs humanity of needed resources or infringes on the rights of others. When the core of a society is engrossed in self, all manner of evils arise and peace becomes sought after, but illusionary. True peace then becomes impossible to attain. How then can we find it?
As stated previously, real peace is found in Jesus Christ, which will be explored more fully in the next article.