A Bright Future for Our Children
SINCE the end of World War II, the world’s governments have drafted and signed an array of treaties to protect civilians in war. Among them are treaties that allow clothing along with medical and food supplies to reach children. International agreements promise to shield children from sexual exploitation, torture, and violence. Agreements also ban the enlistment of anyone under the age of 15 into the armed forces.
The State of the World’s Children 1996, a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, hails these laws as “genuine landmarks” and adds: “Politicians who know that there are standards against which they can subsequently be judged are more likely to consider those standards in their calculations.”
Of course, politicians also calculate that the international community often lacks both the ability and the will to enforce laws. The report thus admits that “given the extent to which these principles have been flouted, it is easy to deride the existing body of international law.”
Then there is the matter of money. In 1993, conflicts raged in 79 nations. Sixty-five of them were poor nations. Where did these poor nations get the weapons with which to fight? Mostly from rich nations. And who are the top five exporters of arms to the developing world? The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council!
Those Who Care
There are, of course, those who care deeply about the plight of children in war. Both individuals and organizations lovingly assist young victims of war. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses, who do not engage in war, have done so. But to eliminate the victimization of children in war really means to eliminate war itself, a prospect that may seem unlikely. Because of humanity’s long record of strife and conflict, many conclude that humans will never bring earth-wide peace. In this view, they are correct.
People also conclude that God will never intervene in the affairs of the nations or bring lasting peace to the planet. In this view, they are not correct.
Our Creator, Jehovah God, cares deeply about the things that are taking place on earth. In his Word, the Bible, Jehovah asks: “Do I take any delight at all in the death of someone wicked . . . and not in that he should turn back from his ways and actually keep living?” God emphatically replies: “I do not take any delight in the death of someone dying.”—Ezekiel 18:23, 32.
Think about it: If our compassionate Creator desires even wicked adults to repent and enjoy life, surely he wants children to live and enjoy life also! Yet, our loving God will not put up with the wicked indefinitely. “Evildoers themselves will be cut off,” God’s Word promises. “Just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more.”—Psalm 37:9, 10.
Jesus Christ, who reflected perfectly the personality of his heavenly Father, loved children and said that “the kingdom of the heavens belongs to suchlike ones.” (Matthew 19:14) The sacrifice of children to the gods of war is detestable both to Jehovah God and to his Son, Jesus Christ.—Compare Deuteronomy 18:10, 12.
God’s Promise of a Bright Future
God has permitted wars and suffering over the centuries in order that the truth stated by the prophet Jeremiah may be established for all eternity to come: “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) Soon, the Bible promises, Jehovah will vindicate his universal sovereignty by “making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.” (Psalm 46:9) Also foretold in the Bible is the time when “[people] will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”—Isaiah 2:4.
What will happen to those whose lives have been snuffed out by war? Is there any hope for them? Jesus promised a resurrection of the dead to an earth free from war, saying: “The hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will . . . come out.” (John 5:28, 29) Similarly, the apostle Paul confidently stated: “There is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—Acts 24:15.
God’s promises will definitely come true. He has both the power and the determination to carry out all that he has purposed. (Isaiah 55:11) When Jehovah says he will do away with war, he means it. When he promises to resurrect to life those who have died, he will do it. As the angel Gabriel said, “with God no declaration will be an impossibility.”—Luke 1:37.
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When war is no more, all children will enjoy a wholesome life