Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
Peter Seeger’s song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” conveys the futility of war and the yearning that man has for peace.
Mankind has a universal longing for peace. But that longing will not be fulfilled by man himself. Only the supernatural love of God will enable us to love our neighbor and our enemy as ourselves. Only the intervention of God Himself in the second coming of Jesus Christ will stop man’s endless wars.
Only when Christ returns will men be forced by His loving and yet strong hand to pound “their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”1 Peace will come at last for a thousand years in the Millennium as Jesus Himself rules over the earth.
And in that day the lion shall lie down with the lamb and nothing shall hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, as Isaiah prophesied. “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. ... They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”2
What a beautiful world it will be then. But mankind still has some very perilous days ahead, days of Great Tribulation before we reach that millennial kingdom. “For then there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”3
But each of us individually can enter into God’s kingdom of love and peace today by receiving Jesus into our hearts right now. We don’t have to wait till tomorrow. We can receive Him and the salvation He offers as we admit our faults and our inability to save ourselves and solve our own problems; as we recognize our inability to relieve our hearts of the pain and sorrow and bitterness and hatred that so often overcome us. That’s why we need God and His mercy, His love, His forgiveness. We cannot make it in our own strength. We are not strong enough.
Let’s read a few passages from the Bible on finding strength. The first is from the apostle Paul when he questioned the Lord about why He hadn’t healed him of a certain affliction. The Lord spoke to him and said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in (your) weakness.” Paul continues, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, … in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong,”4 because then His strength can work through my weakness.
The second passage is found in Isaiah. “Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”5
Here we see the importance of spending time with the Lord to renew our strength, to charge our batteries. We recharge our spirits in those quiet moments we take while apart to be with God and our thoughts. We can spend time reading God’s Word. We can spend time in prayer and pouring out our heart to God. We can spend time listening to God. We can spend time in praise and thanksgiving and song, worshipping God for His goodness to the children of men. We can spend time in communion with fellow believers.
The last passage is one from Jesus Himself. “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”6 We need to come to Jesus daily, and throughout the day, with our problems and concerns, and He will give us the quietness and rest of spirit that we need.
God is longing to strengthen us. He is longing to help us. He is calling out to each of us to reach out to Him. Through Jesus we can be reconciled with God and draw close to His heart of love.
The apostle Peter admonishes us to draw close to God so that we can partake of His divine nature. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.”7
We need to keep the heavenly vision. The first disciples and the early fathers of faith were able to overcome the difficulties they faced because their focus was on God’s eternal kingdom. They held on to God’s promises. “But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he hath prepared for them a city.”8 They kept looking to Jesus. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of their faith.”9 They kept their eyes on Jesus and the heavenly city.
Through Jesus we find God’s mercy, love, forgiveness, and peace. Through Jesus we obtain eternal life in heaven, where God will wipe away all our tears and there will be no more death, sorrow, or crying, neither will there be any more pain,10 neither will there be any more war. Yes indeed, war no more. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”11
1 Isaiah 2:4.
2 Isaiah 11:6–9.
3 Matthew 24:21–22.
4 2 Corinthians 12:9–10.
5 Isaiah 40:28–31.
6 Matthew 11:28–30.
7 2 Peter 1:2–4.
8 Hebrews 11:16.
9 Hebrews 12:2a.
10 Revelation 21:4.
11 Isaiah 2:4b.