The Key to World Peace
Jesus will Establish God's Righteousness
Friday, February 05, 2010
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A quarter of a million children malnourished… farms full of mines… civilians killed by shelling. Those are just some of the headlines this week focusing on just one country in this world, Somalia. The World in 2010 identified Somalia with the dubious honour as the worst country in the world and it has become a frightening example of some of the horrors that people in this world live through every day of their lives. This is Richard Morgan with the latest edition of Bible in the News.
Somalia has not had a central government since 1991; in fact it is hard to really define Somalia as a country. The so-called president has little influence outside part of the capital Mogadishu, and the country is ruled mainly by two groups of warring radical Islamist factions. While war tears Somalia apart almost half the population needs food aid to survive and one in five children is acutely malnourished. There is little hope that the situation will stabilize since many of the youth have been radicalized as the country continues in a vicious circle of war, poverty and mass suffering.
It’s not just Somalia, of course. Half a billion people on this planet are living in what the World Bank has called “absolute poverty”. Millions of children die of hunger every year and hundreds of millions live on less than one dollar a day. Perhaps one of the most disturbing aspects of this world’s suffering is the plight of child soldiers. Children in countries including Somalia, the Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan and Colombia – along with many others – are abducted and made to serve in armed forces, often given the most dangerous of tasks like laying down mines.
These are real people trying to live their lives in the most awful of circumstances. As governments spend millions of dollars on missiles – and the money spent on one missile alone could feed a school full of hungry children for five years – the poor people of this world continue to suffer at the hands of cruel men fighting their wars.
One of the main sources of all this suffering is corruption. Somalia is classed as the most corrupt country in the world and corruption is fed by poverty which just produces more corruption and so the cycle continues. But it’s not just third world governments which cause corruption; globalization and the spread of multinational corporations which eat up the resources of those third world countries can be just as much to blame.
What can be done to sort these problems out? There is only one solution; the Bible solution.
Psalm 72 speaks of a man who will “defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!” (verse 4) and of him it is said “for he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight” (verses 12-14).
What wonderful words! Who wouldn’t want to ascribe to what Psalm 72 tells us? And yet the world doesn’t want it. The world doesn’t want Psalm 72 to be fulfilled.
Why do I say that? The world doesn’t want Psalm 72 because of the cost. You see, in the same Psalm it tells us what will be required to bring about salvation for the poor and needy and the crushing of the oppressor. In verse 3 it says “Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!” and in verse 7 “In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!” Notice those words: righteousness, righteous. That’s what the ruler spoken of in this Psalm will bring: “Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!” (verses 1-2). Justice and righteousness – that’s what will bring about peace and salvation to this world. But not the so-called justice of this world, instead the righteousness that this world does not care for, the righteousness of God.
The Bible consistently tells us that you cannot have peace without righteousness, God’s righteousness. Speaking of the same ruler the prophet Isaiah says “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in justice” (verse 1). Later on the prophet says “Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.” (verses 16-17)
You cannot have peace without righteousness. There are many anti-corruption and anti-war agencies in this world: but they’re all fighting a losing battle because they’re not going about to establish God’s righteousness.
On the wall of the UN headquarters in New York is written the following words taken straight from the Bible: “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 any more”. Those are noble sentiments! The UN sets itself up to be a peacemaking nation, entering into countries like Somalia and attempting to bring about peace and tranquility. But it won’t happen: because the UN is not going about to establish God’s righteousness.
Ironically the context of those words found on the UN building say “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be lifted up above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
This is the only answer to the problems of war, violence, injustice, poverty and corruption which plague this world. Let us establish God’s righteousness in our own lives that we may bring peace to our families, those we meet with, and pray for the time when God’s righteousness will go forth from the city of the great king, from Jerusalem when Jesus Christ will reign in righteousness and the effect of that righteousness will be peace for ever. Amen.
Printed: Friday, February 05, 2010
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