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“Why do we expect God to prohibit war?  Or why should God prevent war?  Apart from the theoretical reason that God should prevent war because it is sinful, . . . there can be no doubt that the real reason why people expect God to prevent war is that they desire a state of peace and feel that they have the right to live in a state of peace.  But that immediately raises another question, which, in a sense, is the fundamental question with respect to this whole matter.  What right have we to peace?  Why do we desire peace?  How often, I wonder, have we faced this question?  Has not the tendency been to take it for granted that we have a right to a state and condition of peace?  Do we stop to ask what is the real value and purpose and function of peace? . . . It is not enough that we should desire peace merely that we may avoid the horror and suffering of war. . . . Man’s chief business in life is to serve and to glorify God.  That is why the gift of life has been given to him.  That is why we are here on earth.  All other things are subservient to this – all the gifts and the pleasures which God gives us so freely. . . . But is that our reason for desiring peace?  Is that the real motive in our prayers for peace? . . . Do we deserve peace?  Were we justified in asking God to preserve peace and to grant peace?  What if war has come because we were not fit for peace, because we did not deserve peace, because we by our disobedience and godlessness and sinfulness had so utterly abused the blessings of peace?  Have we a right to expect God to preserve a state of peace merely to allow men and women to continue a life that is an insult to His holy Name?”

Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Why Does God Allow War? (London, 1939), pages 89-92.  Italics original.

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4 thoughts on “Peace?”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Wow. I’ve never thought of it like that.

  2. Sandriver says:

    It is refreshing to read an article written with the honesty that approaches the honesty of scripture.

  3. Mark B. says:

    Thank you for sharing. I enjoy your short posts.

  4. bob says:

    Dont pray! ………….. Vote. Protest. Refuse. Publicise. Enlighten. Think. Act.

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Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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