Who Will End Violence?
IN September 1999, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed delegates to the 54th annual session of the General Assembly. As reported in The Toronto Star, he issued a challenge to world leaders, stating: “There are a great number of peoples who need more than just words of sympathy from the international community. They need a real and sustained commitment to help end their cycles of violence, and launch them on a safe passage to prosperity.”
Can the UN and its member nations provide the “real and sustained commitment” needed to end violence? Quoted in the same Star report, U.S. President Bill Clinton said: “After all the bloodshed of this century, we know it is easy to say ‘never again,’ but much harder to make it so.” He added: “Promising too much can be as cruel as caring too little.”
Over 2,500 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah said of human efforts: “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) What hope, then, is there for an end to violence?
As we read at Isaiah 60:18, God gave the assurance: “No more will violence be heard in your land, despoiling or breakdown within your boundaries.” That prophecy had an initial fulfillment when God brought his exiled people back to their homeland. It also has a grander fulfillment that we can enjoy. Jehovah God is not “promising too much.” As the Most High and the Creator of humankind, he is in the best position to end the “cycles of violence.” Under God’s Kingdom, peace will prevail. Violence will be gone forever!