When Will This Madness Cease?
MAN’S frantic search for weapons of war has brought him from the age of the sword to the age of the hydrogen bomb, from the age of the arrow to the age of the rocket. It has meant a change from wars that affected limited portions of the earth to wars that affect the entire earth. It is now possible for a war to become so devastating that all earthly life could be destroyed.
War is sheer madness, more so today than ever before. The nations realize that something has to be done to stop it, that permanent peace must be established. Yet their efforts fail and they continue to arm.
As man has increased in knowledge and advanced in civilization he has not moved closer to peaceful relationships, as would be expected. Instead his wars have become fiercer. From the fifteenth century before the Christian era to the nineteenth century after it began there were 3,357 years of war and only 227 years of peace. That is about one year of peace for every fifteen years of war. Since 1861 human relations have grown steadily worse, for there has not been one single year from that date to the present during which a war or several wars were not being waged somewhere on earth.
The rising cost of war has kept pace with man’s development of more destructive weapons. In primitive times it cost practically nothing to kill a man in war. In the days of Julius Caesar the cost was about seventy-five cents. During the days of Napoleon it rose to almost $3,000. The four years of World War I brought it up to $21,000, and then in World War II it leaped to $55,000. Now, with the costly weapons of mass destruction in this atomic age, the cost to kill an enemy soldier has skyrocketed to fabulous proportions. War has become so expensive that the nation that prepares for it endangers its economy.
But war’s cost in human lives and suffering is more important. It is a greater reason to hate war. A Swiss journalist took stock of World War II and found that it claimed the lives of 32 million people in battle, 20 million in air bombings and 26 million in concentration camps. In six years 78 million persons were slaughtered. Add to this some 15 to 20 million who were rendered destitute by the war and you have 98 million people who suffered from the effects of that one war. But the cost in lives and money of World War II is small when compared with what a third world war would cost.
People the world over are crying out for peace. They want to know when the madness of war will cease. When will humans stop this crazy slaughtering of one another? When will they begin respecting one another’s rights and lives and begin living together in peace?
Their leaders have failed in every effort that has been made to bring an end to war. There is now only one direction in which they can turn for the peace they long for, and that is toward their Maker, Jehovah God. He long ago declared his determination to bring an end to war, and when he purposes something he never fails to fulfill that purpose. “Come you, behold the activities of Jehovah, how he has set astonishing events on the earth. He is making wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.”—Ps. 46:8, 9.
This present generation will see the fulfillment of this prophecy. Shortly the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” will bring this wicked system of things to an end. It will be the war that will really end wars. The nations with their many governments will be swept out of existence.
In the place of these nations there will be a united body of people under one righteous government—the kingdom of God. Since this one, divinely established government will rule the earth, mankind will never again become divided, either politically or religiously.
But it may be argued by some that even a divine government could not insure peace, because there always will be fighting so long as there is even one person who will not respect the rights of others.
Let those who think that way consider this scripture: “And just a little while longer and the wicked one will be no more, and you will certainly give attention to his place and he will not be.” (Ps. 37:10) This means that the wicked among mankind will not survive the day of God’s wrath. They will be screened out and will perish with this system of things. They will cease to be just as surely as the wicked before the Flood ceased to exist. “Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.”—Ps. 145:20.
Because God’s kingdom will rule the earth following the destruction of the present world, wicked persons will not be able to rise up, gain power and revive the madness of war. Never again will wickedness prosper on earth.
People are now being gathered from all races and nationalities to be the inhabiters of the earth under God’s kingdom. Since they live for that new world they are a New World society. As Noah and his family were preserved through the Flood, so they will be preserved through the day of God’s wrath. They are the meek ones referred to in Psalm 37:11: “But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”
They will not carry with them into that new world the madness of war. They are now a peaceful people who have beaten “their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks.”—Mic. 4:3, AS.
People who sigh and cry over the terrible slaughter caused by war can lift up their heads and rejoice, because the earth will soon be inhabited solely by meek, peaceable people, and will be ruled by God’s kingdom. Then the madness of war will cease forever.