Why Peace is Elusive? by Jesus Natauan

Nations and individuals have, from the earliest times, searched for peace with little success. The old Leaque of Nations and now the United Nations both commited themselves to that goal, and yet world chaos, the arms race, and wars have gone on and on.

At the UN Special Session on Disarmament held June 23, 1983, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher reminded those present that there have been “something like 1140 conflicts fought with conventional weapons since World War ll, in which up to 10 million people have perished.” And here in our own country, we have the numerous killings, reprisals, and failed peace talks which do not depict the normal and serene life that should be the lot of every individual.

Why do all these armed conflicts take place? And why has mankind not achieved lasting peace, but only forced reconciliations, ceasefires, and generally “unpeaceful” peace? To get an accurate answer to these haunting questions, we should go to the most authoritative source: God’s Word. In Isaiah 59:8, the almightly God said: “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths; whatsoever goeth threin shall not know peace.” The Apostle Paul echoed a similar plaint: “Destruction and misery are in their ways: and the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Romans 3:16-18), Mankind has forsaken God’s way of peace and instead relied solely on its own decisions.

“… they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it,” said the Lord. (Jeremiah 6:19).

As a general rule, man talks peace while he is armed to the teeth. He thinks he can bring forth peace if he bristles with guns. Because of his vanity, lust, and greed, and so little understanding of the requisites for peace, he has botched the job, leading to dire consequences.

Man, by nature, is self-centered and invariably tends to be indifferent to the feelings of others. Human nature wants its own way, not God’s way. And it is man’s selfishness and greed that give rise to hatred, strife, and deadly competition. Is it any wonder that the man today reaps what he has sown? And that no matter how passionately they work for peace, resorting to mediation, negotiation and all, they still cannot find real peace?

We worship Him with our lips, but our hearts are far from him (Matthew 15:8), and as a result we are unable to find the right paths to peace. And God Himself has permitted this to happen to us so we will learn that “rejecting. His law can in the end bring nothing but disasters.”

The solution then is for us to move closer to God and mend our ways. Ffor we can only realize our yearning for peace if we forsake our abominable ways. We should take into consideration the views of two famous men about mankind’s prospects for peace. The late U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, who as a general led Allied forces in Europe in World War ll, was quoted by an international magazine as saying that “The answer does not lie merely in abolishing deadly weapons. It is to be found in abolishing the hate, the covetousness, and the insatiable greed of factions and groups within nations.”

General Douglas MacArthur, who commandecl armies in two world wars and in Korea, was more direct to the point. The same magazine quoted him thus: “The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual revival and improvement of human character… It would be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.” These two men who had seen so much gore in the battlefields believed the solution should really be spiritual.

If we begin to obey the laws of God and become receptive to His teachings, “He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His path,” (Micah 4:2). Doubters and unbelievers will snicker, but then this is how the road to peace will be opened to us. We should heed the prophet Jeremiah who exhorts “ask for the old paths… and walk therein…” A truly workable solution to strife and deadly competition among men and nations. And one that makes peace easier to achieve and not so elusive.

Starweek, August 13, 1989

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