By Raymond E. Harris
Along with “love” and “mother,” the word “peace” is one of the sweetest words known to man. The word “peace” is found about 150 times in the Old Testament and over 80 times in the New Testament. The word “peace” is found in every New Testament book except First John. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus is the “Prince of Peace”; that peace makers shall be called “the children of God”; and that peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Yet, it seems that almost every generation cries, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Both sacred and secular history tell of man’s futile efforts to maintain peace.
To enjoy true peace, man must not only be at peace with his fellow man but also with his God. In fact, because of his very nature, man will not be at peace with his fellow man until he is first at peace with Jehovah.
Notice the order of events in the beginning. As long as Adam and Eve were obedient and at peace with God, they were at peace with one another. But once sin entered into their lives, they knew little peace. Their arrogance, presumption and disobedience separated them from God and immediately they began to fuss and the family relationship was never the same again. From that time forward man was destined to live by the sweat of his brow and the woman was to be subject to her husband. In due time the feelings between Cain and Abel became so strained that Cain killed Abel. From that day till this, self-righteousness, hatred, envy, jealousy and all the other emotions that destroy peace have been all too evident in the history and affairs of man.
The people of our time have known little peace. During the past 30 years, our nation has been involved in war three times. Year after year the crime rate has continued to skyrocket. We suffer an unprecedented divorce rate.
What is behind all of this? The answer is evident! The nation has turned from God! For the first time in our history, less than half of our population admits to having any religion. Our courts have outlawed God, and our theologians tell us that in fact, “God is dead.” Our grade schools teach evolution and our universities have become lewd love nests. For several years, unbathed, unshaven deadbeats became the heroes of the hour, and law and order were crucified. From the least to the greatest, the cry is “peace, peace”. . but there is no peace.
What is the answer? A return to the Prince of Peace! What can be done? Let’s start with you. Are you a Christian? If not, you need to realize that obedience to Christ is the only source of real peace. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
On the other hand, if you profess to be a Christian, do you really work at it? Do you strive to live for Jesus daily and do you zealously participate in the affairs of the church? If you have not been true to your profession, you are not truly at peace with God or yourself. If you really want to be at peace with God, your fellow man and yourself, “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6,7).
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 21, p. 657
November 5, 1987