Each day brings new and unsettling developments in all sectors and levels of our country and other developed nations, spawning uncertainty and fear, as people go about their daily routines of work and leisure activities. As one contemplates this situation, the question is raised, "Why terrorism?" Why has this become a global problem, which everyone deals with and no one can control? It is a very complex question and a number of contributing factors can be identified. Radical Islam with its desire for world domination and hatred of all things Western is certainly at the forefront of causes.
Powerful drug cartels in Mexico and South America thrive in the atmosphere of political instability and chaos, as they strive for dominance and often to overthrow existing national governments, which is, in effect, an undeclared civil war. Political instability in Pakistan and in Palestine results in scenes of grisly mayhem. In Turkey, Europe and even the United States, the threatening fingers of terrorist threats continue to stretch out from a variety of sources, furthering a growing atmosphere of fear, where events can be canceled at a moment's notice due to alarming intelligence reports.
But, there is a more basic cause which truly gets to the heart of the matter, which is the subject of this commentary.
King Solomon was inspired to write about it, anciently, in the book of wisdom known as Proverbs in the Bible. He wrote, "Because you disdained all my counsel, and because you would have none of my rebuke, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, when your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke" (Proverbs 1:25–30).
This may seem to be an oversimplification, but at the very heart of the matter is mankind's rejection of the instructions for peace and prosperity given by the Creator God, in many places in Scripture. Long ago, the nation of Israel was chosen (not favored) by God and given the opportunity and responsibility to be an example to the nations of the world on how to put God's ways into practice. Sadly, they failed in this special mission.
Early on, God explained how He would bless them for obedience and what would happen to them if they despised His way. In the book of Leviticus, Moses was inspired to write this warning from God: "But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart" (Leviticus 26: 14–16).
Now, it is not my purpose to say that the victims of terrorism deserve the brutal and sadistic injury, damage and death that terrorists inflict upon them. However, it is a result of mankind ignoring the commandments of the Creator God for millennia, as man divided into religious, tribal and ethnic factions, pursuing their goals which often involved conquering and even exterminating their enemies.
What is the answer? The solution will require a basic change in the nature of man. In the Bible, this change is referred to as "repentance." While a few are responding to the call for repentance and change now, for most of mankind it will come about only when Jesus Christ returns in power and glory to set up His Kingdom on this earth. Until then, there will be difficult times, as the scourge of terrorism continues despite the best efforts of nations to protect their citizens.
You can learn more about this coming age of peace searching this very website, and at www.lcg.org.