How much is peace worth? When a country is in turmoil and there is a deep-seated and widespread unrest among the people, how much has to be spent to calm the troubled waves – so peace can return?
As waves of unrest sweep across the Middle East, it must be very unsettling for leaders who want to avoid similar political and social and religious upheavals in their own countries. Whatever the issues may be that give rise to the discord, unrest and protests in a particular society, one thing should be clear – a peaceful resolution of the issues would be the preferred outcome.
The challenge at all levels is how can peace be found? What can be done to bring the factions together for a positive resolution? What will bring both sides together in peace? The answer is obvious: deal with the issue that caused the divide (or the barrier) between both parties.
You can be the judge of the approach apparently taken by Saudi Arabia in securing peace in that country at a time when neighbouring countries are experiencing intense upheavals. It has been reported that King Abdullah (87) and his ruling family has opened up the purse strings of the richest country in the Middle East. Many speculate that it is an effort to quell the unrest and to buy peace.
The financial package (1) includes the following:
- All Saudi government employees have been paid an extra two months’ salary.
- $70 Billion to build 500,000 housing units for those living in poverty.
- $200 Million to religious establishments and their police.
- A total financial package of $130 billion.
Of course, for an oil rich country like Saudi Arabia – the King can afford to dip into his vast reserves of cash. Oil revenues just for last year alone topped $200 Billion.
But the question remains – can cash buy peace? Maybe – on the short term. But more likely than not, the original issue that has caused the tension will have to be addressed sooner or later if permanent peace is to be found.
Is there a spiritual parallel? Beyond geopolitics and relationships within and between countries, a far more important issue exists: humans’ relationship with God. This relationship has eternal significance – not just relevance for a few fleeting years. What ever happened to the relationship between humans and their Creator God? Have you ever wondered about that?
A colossal breach and break in the relationship between God and humans occurred. God was not at fault in the least. He placed His masterpiece of creation (humans) in a perfect environment with the highest of ideals and intentions for them. He gave them a ‘will’ of their own to enjoy their full potential He had given them in His universe – a will of their own rather than mindless, programmable robots. And it was exactly that unique feature of the human race our founding parents selfishly abused. With their own will, Adam chose to rebel against God. Sin at that moment entered the human family and caused a separation and barrier between God and us. (Genesis 1,2,3)
The Bible puts it this way:
“…through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin,
and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…”
The divisive issue that separated us from the Almighty and Holy God was singular in nature – SIN. Sin caused the separation between us and God. Sin is also at the very root of all the other struggles and problems in the world.
Before we go further, remember God was not at fault. Be clear on this. He was not the offending party in the relationship. Usually, in other relationship breakdowns, both sides have contributed to the division and strife; but not in this vertical relationship. The breakdown between God and humans was unequivocally caused by the creature – not the Creator.
God was under no obligation to seek or provide a peaceful resolution to the unrest, discord and division we caused by sin. He would have been completely righteous and holy had He abandoned us forever because of our high-handed rebellion against Him. But, how did He respond to the crisis of our sin? Love and grace!
As rich as kings of the earth may be, the Almighty God is infinitely richer. He has unlimited resources and abilities. He is God. How did He secure peace when it came to the most divisive and intractable issue of the ages – our sin? Did He open up His purse strings and use His infinite resources as a peace-making strategy? Did He resort to stop-gap measures or Band-Aid approaches or short term solutions?
God didn’t open up the purse-strings of His universe to respond to the crisis of sin. That could never have resolved such an offense. All the resources of His universe could never have bridged the gap in the relationship or satisfied His holy character regarding sin. No, He did not open His vast reserves to resolve the issue. Instead, and this is amazingly profound, He opened up His heart of love and sent His Son to this world to pay for the offense of sin by His death on the cross.
The Bible says: “He made peace by the blood of His Cross.” (Colossians 1:20) God did not have to be reconciled to us. We were the offenders. We needed to be reconciled to Him. But the awesome news is – He provided the very basis for this reconciliation. Infinitely expensive. The blood of the Cross. Romans 8:32 says God did not spare His very own Son but rather, delivered Him up to the Cross. The death of Christ was God’s response to the barrier of sin.
The price of peace spiritually was precious blood, not money.
The Apostle Peter said: “Preaching the good news of peace through Jesus Christ; He is Lord of all.” Acts 10:36
Friend, the unrest in your heart and the disconnect you feel between yourself and God can be settled and solved.You can have peace, starting today. Based on Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins, paying sin’s death penalty, God will receive you and welcome you into His eternal family, the exact moment you turn to Christ and accept Him as your Saviour.
Therefore being justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name,
He gave the right to become children of God.
If you would like to discuss these matters further, click here.