We all have that wonderful thought in the back of our minds of world peace, even if the thought has become an overplayed cliché to talk about in our modern day. Sure, every president and pageant contestant talks about it in a speech at some point.
As painful as this might be for older readers to hear, when I was a child I thought John Denver music was just a tool of torture my dad used on us. I thought he put this and other albums-of-his-era on just for the sole purpose of laughing while we squirmed and winced. However, as my musical knowledge and age increased I came to enjoy many-a-tune of this beloved songster. Unfortunately, it was Denver’s death (1943-1997) that brought me to understand why people were drew to his happy, uplifting melodies.
One of the first Denver songs I was turned on to I read as a poem entitled “The Box.” “The Box” refers to peace by elegantly describing war.
“Once upon a time in the land of hushabye
Around about the wondrous days of yore
I came across a sort of box
Bound up with chains and locked with locks
And labeled ‘kindly do not touch, its war,’” the first stanza reads.
As we all know from living in this world, the box didn’t stay bound for long. In the song there were those who feared opening the box and therefore didn’t dare touch it.
“But someone did.
Someone battered in the lid and spilled the insides out across the floor.
A sort of bouncy, bumpy ball made up of guns and flags and all the tears, and horror, and death that come with war.
It bounced right out and went bashing all about, bumping into everything in store.
And what was sad and most unfair was that it didn’t really seem to care much who it bumped, or why, or what, or for.
It bumped the children mainly.
And I’ll tell you this quite plainly,
it bumps them every day and more, and more,
and leaves them dead, and burned, and dying, thousands of them sick and crying.
Cause when it bumps, it’s really very sore.
Now there’s a way to stop the ball.
It isn’t difficult at all.
All it takes is wisdom,
and I’m absolutely sure that we can get it back into the box,
and bind the chains,
and lock the locks,” the middle continues.
For those too young or musically uninformed, the whole lyrics aren’t represented above and it is definitely worth a Google to read it – especially with so many of us who are involved in war as these words are being typed.
While many of us know that it wasn’t just the Rocky Mountains that got Denver high, he made a very poignant observation about war. But to get rid of war all together takes something more than human desire for peace, or human understanding. It takes more than nuclear disarmament efforts from many nations. It takes more than a “peaceful, easy feeling” as Denver wrote in another song. It takes every country not thinking how great it would be to control the neighboring country; its oil; its wealth; its money; its markets; its grass that is seemingly greener until standing on it. It takes all individuals loving each other as Christ first loved us. Then the nations made up of those individuals loving every other nation as Christ first loved us.
The idea of a better, peaceful world is Biblical prophecy as well.
Both Isaiah and Micah described it in the prophecies they penned – Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 both start with the same words. While both are the same, for this we will use Micah.
“In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it, and their people will say, ‘Let us go up the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel’s God. He will teach us what He wants us to do; we will walk in the paths He has chosen. For the Lord’s teaching comes from Jerusalem; from Zion He speaks to His people.’ He will settle disputes among the nations, among the great powers near and far. They will hammer their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will never again go to war, never prepare for battle again. Everyone will live in peace among their own vineyards and fig trees, and no one will make them afraid. The Lord Almighty has promised this,” Micah 4:1-4 (Good News Translation).
These verses of “days to come” say a lot, but the part that stands out is in verse 2: “He will teach us what He wants us to do; we will walk in the paths He has chosen.” Everything, and yes I mean everything, would be great in all of our lives if we were simply walking in the paths He has chosen for us. And our nations would truly be blessed if our leaders spent more time following God.
Personal peace comes when we follow Jesus. We, individually, will find peace when we accept the forgiveness of sin from Christ and walk His path for our lives. How do we know where His path is? By reading His Word; by dedicating our lives to Him; by praying to Him and relying on Him for our needs He will show us the way we are to go. He will take care of us along the way.
In Revelation 21, John talks about a new Heaven and new Earth. Free of sin it would be. Free of death and mourning it would be. Free of tears and pain it would be. A life with God Himself it will be.
“Then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first Heaven and the first Earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away,” Revelation 21:1-4 (New International Version).
How great that will be. The sweetest, most wonderful words in our world can’t describe the wonder and joy we will see when God brings us to His world.
If we allow Jesus into our lives, then and only then, can we become a child of God. This passage assures us that He will live with us in the Heaven He has prepared for us. Free of death; free of sin; free of pain; free of crying; free of war; free of mourning; free of hurt; free of injury; free of destruction; free of depression; free of pessimism; free of discourse; free of rejection; free of negativity and freed from evil WE WILL BE! Amen!