Adventist leader in Israel reflects on regional conflicts and longstanding peace.
“God shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Micah 4:3, NKJV).
Why tensions, conflicts, and wars? How to manage so much grief and suffering in our lives? What should be the most appropriate attitude in the context of discrimination, criminal behavior, and all kinds of injustice?
These are very reasonable questions. Every human being is dreaming about a world without evil. However, we see with our eyes that the future is not bright. Nations still increase their spending related to security. For example, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2018, total world military spending amounted to US$1.82 trillion. Imagine all of these funds fighting the poverty in the world! Things are really bad when we understand how dramatically the vicious circle is implemented: war has been identified as one of the leading causes for the persistence of poverty in many regions of the world.
Margaret Atwood, a Canadian poet and writer, rightly states, “War is what happens when language fails.” And the worst reason for the failure of communication is undoubtedly a religious conviction, the conflict between human beings in the name of God.
The Bible tells us that wars and conflicts will continue to exist until God’s intervention. Very soon, a new period will start in the history of the universe. Jesus, the Messiah, will come and put an end to the overwhelming presence of violence. The text of the prophet Micah declares, “God shall judge.” God shall root out evil. The good news of the judgment is that God will put a final stop to suffering. “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4, NKJV).
We appreciate the ceasefire, effective on May 21, 2021, in Israel. But it is largely insufficient. What this planet needs, however, is not a ceasefire that will be broken after five months or five years. What human hearts hope is God’s action for the final stop. And I would like to invite you to pray for this absolutely fantastic promise of the Bible.
From my experience, I have come to the conclusion that a conflict is born when a self-centered vision of the world is imprinted in the heart of human beings. I also understood from God’s Word that an act of love is born when God imprints His character on the human heart. May we work tirelessly to make God’s plan come true as soon as possible. Maranatha.