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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

September 7, 2018

Hope through sure knowledge

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

Who doesn't know the famous sculpture in front of the UN headquarters in New York? It depicts a man of strong stature forging a ploughshare from a sword. The statue was created by the Russian artist Ergenly Vuchetich and unveiled on May 21, 1960. On the pedestal are slightly altered words from Isaiah 2, verse 4: "We will turn our swords into ploughshares."

Unfortunately, this sculpture creates a false impression, reflecting a false hope for humanity. It encourages us to believe that man can create lasting peace through his own efforts. In view of mankind's great efforts to defend itself, perhaps a more appropriate phrase for the United Nations would be the old Roman maxim: "If you want peace, prepare for war."

Nevertheless, there is hope! God's plan for human beings did not end in the Garden of Eden. After people have had enough time to experience the fruits of their own ways, God will help them to go a new way.Jesus Christ will return to this earth to bring a new world order, whose foundation will be the way of love for God and neighbour.

But before the dawn of this new era we will experience an unprecedented time of crisis. The prophet Joel describes the sad reality of humanity before Christ intervenes. According to Joel, man will turn his ploughs into swords instead of the other way round. In this sense, Jesus Christ predicted a world in which, before His return, all the weapons of mankind together would suffice to destroy life on our planet. He said: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be again. And if these days were not shortened, no man would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22).

After this terrible time, however, the prophecies of the Bible about the coming kingdom of God also show how people will finally humbly walk with God and finally attain peace. One day all people will learn the way of peace (Isaiah 2:1-4). Cities will then be rebuilt and grief will be replaced by joy. The Bible reveals a time of peace, prosperity and happiness for all people when God "will turn their mourning into joy and comfort them … after their sorrow" (Jeremiah 31:13).

Are we aware of the blessing that we can know what the future will really be like? "Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Matthew 13:16-17).

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath and Feast of Trumpets!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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