Unrest around the globe has been a constant in varying degrees for as long as people have inhabited the earth. Taking a journey through the annals of history one can see it is evident that ‘world peace’ has eluded us.
There have been relatively peaceful times. There have been horrendous times of war. One can find both extraordinary humanitarian intervention and obscene acts of evil during both periods of history in our world.
It is not a population issue. The first act of violence occurred within a single family. Cain murdered his brother Abel. Why? Perhaps for the same reason for much of the conflict we see today – pride and envy. It is the classic and ever-present challenge of good versus evil.
Matthew 10:34 Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. (AMP)
Jesus made it clear that, though He came in peace, His command to love, His instruction to follow Him, His very presence would divide. it is impossible for ‘good’ (and Jesus is the manifestation of all that is good) to exist in harmony with evil. He came to forgive sins not to be tolerant of them. Jesus calls us to love and to go and make disciples. He does not call us to be tolerant of evil.
Jesus challenges us to live a pure and holy life. Change must occur. Otherwise, conflict is inevitable. Being the antithesis of each other, either one will forsake evil and seek holiness or one forsakes holiness and will acquiesces to evil. Agreeing to disagree is not a Christian response. Neither is violence. Speaking the truth in love is not, however, always received and accepted graciously. Standing for Truth is not always a peaceful location in which to stand. But we must not cease in our efforts.
Romans 12:18 If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (AMP)
In a recent Washington Post article, Paul Waldman asks the question, “Is it time for a Marshall Plan for Gaza?” The Marshall Plan worked in Europe after WWII because Europe was grateful to the US for helping to defeat Hitler. Gaza is not Europe. Would the Palestinian people be thankful for the billions it would take to rebuild Gaza? Or have they been taught to hate us and what we stand for, and because Israel is our ally? If the citizens do not hate us, would our help really reach them or would our generosity help Hamas in their continued attacks on Israel?
There are no easy answers. There are, however, individual responsibilities. Our government has the responsibility of securing the safety of our citizens. The House has the ‘power of the purse’ and is (supposed) to be fiscally responsible with the people’s money. These are government responsibilities. Our responsibility as Christians is to share the love of Jesus and to pray for lost souls.
Goodwill and generosity alone will not eliminate hatred and evil. It is Jesus Christ who can transform a heart of stone. Money may help to rebuild infrastructure and perhaps stabilize an economy. Jesus rebuilds the infrastructure of our hearts and minds and brings riches beyond compare.
Psalm 46:1 God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. (AMP)
As we seek God’s will in the presence of conflict, I suggest we Christians pray for a ‘Jesus Plan.’