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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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AWAKE! JUNE 2006

Peace on Earth at Last!

SOME believe that only through violence will they attain political freedom and spiritual purity—that only destructive force will eliminate unwanted rulers. Also, some governments use terror to maintain order and to keep subject peoples under control. But if it is true that terrorism is an effective tool of rulership and social reform, it should produce peace, prosperity, and stability. After a while, violence and fear should subside. Have we seen those results?

The truth is that terrorism breaks down respect for life and leads to bloodshed and cruelty. Because of their pain, victims often retaliate, which leads to further repression and, in turn, to more retaliation.

Violence Does Not Solve Our Problems

Humans have been trying to solve their political, religious, and social problems by themselves for thousands of years. But all their attempts have failed. It is as the Bible says: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” (Jeremiah 10:23) Jesus said: “Wisdom stands or falls by [its] results.” (Matthew 11:19, The New Testament in Modern English, by J. B. Phillips) By extension, these Biblical principles imply that terrorism is a false hope. The fruits of terrorism have not been freedom and happiness but, instead, death, misery, and ruin. This bad fruitage has filled the 20th century and is starting to overwhelm the 21st. Many would say that rather than the solution, terrorism is one of the problems.

“Every day I hope that none of my family or my friends die . . . Perhaps we need a miracle.” So wrote a young girl whose homeland had been set afire by terrorist violence. Her words point to a conclusion that many have drawn: The solution to man’s problems lies beyond the human realm. Only man’s Creator can solve earth’s present difficulties, including terrorism. But why should we trust God?

Why God Is Worthy of Our Trust

One reason is that as the Creator, Jehovah gave us life and wants us to enjoy it with peace and satisfaction. God’s prophet Isaiah was moved to write: “Now, O Jehovah, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our Potter; and all of us are the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) Jehovah is the Father of mankind, and people of all nations are precious to him. The injustice and hatred that lead to terrorism are not his fault. Wise King Solomon once declared: “The true God made mankind upright, but they themselves have sought out many plans.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29) Human badness and demonic influence, not incompetence on the part of God, lie at the root of terrorism.Ephesians 6:11, 12.

Another reason why we can trust Jehovah is that since he created humans, he understands better than anyone the cause of mankind’s problems and how to solve them. The Bible states this truth at Proverbs 3:19: “Jehovah himself in wisdom founded the earth. He solidly fixed the heavens in discernment.” With full trust in God, a man from the  ancient past wrote: “From where will my help come? My help is from Jehovah, the Maker of heaven and earth.”Psalm 121:1, 2.

There is a third reason why we should trust God: He has the power to halt violent bloodshed. In Noah’s time “the earth became filled with violence.” (Genesis 6:11) God’s judgment was sudden and complete: “[God] did not hold back from punishing an ancient world . . . when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people.”2 Peter 2:5.

The Bible states a lesson we should learn from the Flood of Noah’s day: “Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off.” (2 Peter 2:9) God can distinguish between those who sincerely want a better life and those who make life miserable for others. He has set the latter apart for the “destruction of the ungodly men.” But for those desiring peace, he is preparing a new earth in which righteousness is to dwell.2 Peter 3:7, 13.

Lasting Peace on Earth!

Bible writers often used the word “earth” to refer to humanity. Genesis 11:1, for example, states that “all the earth,” the humans alive at that time, spoke the same language. The apostle Peter had that meaning in mind when he wrote of “a new earth.” Jehovah God would renew human society in such a way that righteousness and justice would replace violence and hatred as permanent “dwellers” in the land. In a prophecy recorded at Micah 4:3, the Bible tells us: “He will certainly render judgment among many peoples, and set matters straight respecting mighty nations far away. And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. They will not lift up sword, nation against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”

How will people live when that prophecy is fulfilled? Micah 4:4 states: “They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making  them tremble.” In that earthly Paradise, no one will live in fear of the next terrorist attack. Can you trust that promise? Yes, “for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken it.”Micah 4:4.

So, as terrorist threats proliferate and nations shudder because of violence, the solution for lovers of peace is to trust in Jehovah. No problem exists that he cannot solve. He will remove injury, suffering, and even death. The Bible states: “He will actually swallow up death forever, and the Sovereign Lord Jehovah will certainly wipe the tears from all faces.” (Isaiah 25:8) The precious lands of many peoples, now filled with pain and fear as a result of terrorism, will soon overflow with the fruitage of peace. That peace, promised by the God “who cannot lie,” is what mankind desperately needs.Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:17, 18.