Today, September 11, 2011, marks ten years since one of the greatest tragedies in the entire history of mankind. Ten years ago today, hatred was unleashed on the Twin Towers in New York City. On that day, nearly 3,000 people died because of hatred… nothing more.
Certainly this was not the first time man’s fury has been unleashed on humankind. The attack on Pearl Harbor that began WWII and the Atomic Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end that war are examples. But in all of these catastrophic events led by man prior to 9/11, there were motivations beyond or in addition to “mere hatred” that brought them about.
Today, millions of prayers have been lifted for world peace. World peace is the idea, the perfect world. It is what we all hope for and many of us pray for.
And it is an illusion. It will not happen. And it is our own fault. We had it, a world of perfection, and we threw it away.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) From nothing, He created everything by His spoken Word. Following His creation of man, He looked at His creation and declared it was “good.” “Good here does not mean it was “cool” or “neat” or “satisfactory.” God’s creation was perfect. The Garden of Eden, where His greatest creation, man, held dominion was, quite literally, heaven.
God also gave man gifts unique among all the creatures. He gave man a mind with which he could reason and make decisions. And He gave man Free Will to choose, among so many things, whether to worship God, to maintain his personal, loving relationship with God. And man blew it. Man chose to follow his own will, disobeying God and throwing the world into chaos. We remain in chaos today.
When we read the Bible carefully, we see the promises of love, of peace, of salvation and of eternal life. What we don’t see in the Bible is a world at peace. Throughout the Old Testament, we see a world at war. The New Testament is not much better. And then there is the Book of Revelation! Revelation promises world-wide plagues, disasters and war.
No, there will be no world peace. It is an illusion, a dream.
So, does that mean there is no hope?
Absolutely NOT! The Holy Bible is full of the promise of hope, on two levels.
First is on an individual basis. The Bible gives us our outline, guidance for righteous living. It is summarized in one sentence: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” As individuals, if we follow this command, with all that it involves, we can achieve what the Jews call “shalom.” “Shalom is in inner, all-encompassing peace, a oneness with God. When we fully practice this command of loving one another, we bring a little bit of heaven to earth… today. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”
Collectively, God’s perfection will be restored after the final triumph of good over evil as described in Revelation. Earth will be restored to the state of the Garden of Eden. There will be no hunger, pain, disease or hatred! There will be no war!
So, pray for world peace. It will happen. But only the Father knows the day and the hour.
Pray also for inner peace, shalom. Pray that in a world of chaos and hatred and war that you can love, as Jesus loves you. And as The Father loves you. The Father loves you so much that gave His only son for you. And the Son loves you so much that He went willingly to the cross to redeem you from your sins.
Alive in The Word