A Secure Future at Last!
“The whole earth has come to rest, has become free of disturbance. People have become cheerful with joyful cries.”—ISAIAH 14:7.
“OURS is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” Those words, spoken by a U.S. Army general in 1948, remind us of the observation found in the Bible: “Man has dominated man to his injury.” (Ecclesiastes 8:9) When men are armed with nuclear weapons, they can do worse than injure their fellowmen; they can annihilate them!
Many people agree that the possession and use of nuclear weapons is ethically wrong. For example, George Lee Butler, a retired U.S. Air Force general, said: “The simple existence of a nuclear weapon in somebody’s arsenal continues to send a message that we can imagine circumstances under which . . . somehow we can rationalize the employment of that weapon. That’s just wrong.”
Nevertheless, British columnist Martin Woollacott observes: “Nuclear weapons retain their attraction, whatever the theorists and the moralists say about their uselessness and viciousness. Governments believe they need them for rational security reasons; they also cling to them because nuclear weapons undoubtedly constitute a kind of dark magic which politicians and soldiers recognise and want to possess.”
It is true that for the past five decades, man has somehow managed to avert nuclear war. But during that same period of time, conventional weapons have been used to slaughter untold thousands of people. Given man’s track record, it is only reasonable to assume that, sooner or later, these fearsome nuclear weapons would be used.
Can man’s warlike tendencies be curbed? Some argue that men fight wars because of stupidity, selfishness, and misdirected aggressive impulses. “If these are the primary causes of war,” says scholar Kenneth Waltz, “then the elimination of war must come through uplifting and enlightening men.”
Others say that the causes of war lie in the structure of international politics. Because each sovereign state pursues its own national interests, conflicts inevitably occur. Since there is no consistent, reliable way to reconcile differences, war breaks out. William E. Burrows and Robert Windrem write in their book Critical Mass: “The hard part is political. No effective control regime is possible without an underlying political resolve to stop and even reverse superweapon proliferation.”
Consider the ongoing negotiations to implement the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The Guardian Weekly described them as “an intense bargaining session between the nuclear powers and the states who already covertly possess nuclear weapons or have the technology to acquire them quickly.” The same article admits: “Neither [group] has any plans to give up their weapons or their capacity, or all the options for improving either.”
Obviously, international cooperation is needed if all nuclear threats are to be eliminated. Says the book Critical Mass: “Mutual trust must therefore replace mutual assured destruction everywhere, . . . or a cataclysm must sooner or later follow.” Unfortunately, international relations and negotiations today often resemble what the prophet Daniel described 26 centuries ago: ‘They speak lies over one table.’—Daniel 11:27, Byington.
Global Cooperation Under a World Government
Nevertheless, the Bible assures us that God himself purposes genuine global cooperation under a highly effective world government. Millions have unwittingly prayed for this government when uttering the Lord’s Prayer: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matthew 6:10) A kingdom is a government. And the Head of that Kingdom government is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. God’s Word assures us: “To the abundance of [his] princely rule and to peace there will be no end . . . The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6, 7) The Bible promises regarding that government under Jesus: “It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms,” or human governments.—Daniel 2:44.
This world government will bring in true peace and security—but not by nuclear deterrence or through shaky arms treaties. Psalm 46:9 prophesies that Jehovah God “is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth. The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; the wagons he burns in the fire.” Halfway measures will not be good enough. God’s Kingdom under Christ will do more than reduce the number of nuclear weapons—it will totally eliminate them and all other weapons of war.
There will be no nuclear threat because there will be no superpowers, no rogue nations, no terrorists. True peace will prevail: “They will actually sit, each one under his vine and under his fig tree, and there will be no one making them tremble; for the very mouth of Jehovah of armies has spoken it.” These inspired words come from the God who cannot lie.—Micah 4:4; Titus 1:2.
According to Psalm 4:8, true peace and security are to be found only within Jehovah God’s arrangement: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you yourself alone, O Jehovah, make me dwell in security.” As human history has painfully proved, any promises of “peace and security” other than through Jehovah’s Kingdom can only be counterfeit.—Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:3.
“Quietness and Security”
But what about the warlike nature of man himself? “Righteousness is what the inhabitants of the productive land will certainly learn.” (Isaiah 26:9) Such instruction in righteousness will have a profound effect on human nature and world conditions: “The work of the true righteousness must become peace; and the service of the true righteousness, quietness and security to time indefinite.” (Isaiah 32:17) Any aggressive impulse or violent instinct will be replaced by neighborly love and concern for the common good. Earth’s inhabitants “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.
In prophetic language Isaiah foretold that people with animalistic tendencies will be transformed. He spoke of a time when “the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah.” As a result, “the wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them. . . . They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain.”—Isaiah 11:6-9.
Belief in these divine promises has given Jehovah’s Witnesses an optimistic outlook on life. When we look to the future, we do not envision an earth ravaged by nuclear devastation. Rather, we see the fulfillment of the Bible promise: “The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.” (Psalm 37:29) Some would call such faith naive and unrealistic. But who really is naive? One who puts faith in the promise of God or one who swallows the empty promises of politicians? To real lovers of peace, the answer is obvious.a
a Jehovah’s Witnesses have helped millions to embrace the Bible’s message of hope by means of a free home Bible study. You can arrange to have them visit you by contacting the publishers of this magazine or by visiting the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
[Blurb on page 11]
“Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.”—Isaiah 2:4
[Pictures on page 9]
In God’s new world, families will “dwell in security,” and all forms of weaponry will be eliminated
[Picture on page 10]
Warlike traits are eliminated as people learn and apply God’s Word, the Bible