A Boiling Pot

“And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a boiling pot, and it is facing away from the north.’ Then the Lord said to me: ‘Out of the north calamity shall break forth on all the inhabitants of the land'” (Jeremiah 1:13,14).
It does not require a very astute observer of current events to note that there is much trouble brewing in many parts of our world. Unrest abounds, especially in under-developed, impoverished nations. Much attention is given to Islamic fundamentalist movements, but they are by no means the only source of violence and terrorism. Maoists in Nepal, separatist movements in India and Myanmar, and various tribal conflicts in parts of Africa are examples of other such sources.
Jeremiah’s allegory of a boiling pot to symbolize a nation poised to do violence seems apt. Unrest, hatred, jealousy and pent-up resentments certainly bring emotions and societies to a boil. Whether the boiling is according to the purposes of God, or simply the product of evil, those in the path of the overflow will often suffer.
Can suffering be avoided? Can terrorism and violence be defeated? Some are fatalistic and think not. There is too much hatred, too many resentments and jealousies. Turmoil is inevitable and must only increase. But is this accurate? Is there truly no hope of aversion?
When a pot on the stove is boiling over, what is the solution? That is simple ?- you turn off the fire. Remove the heat and the boiling ceases. Can this principle be applied to our world situation? Some are attempting to do just that by appeasement, aid, and material helpfulness. They reason that if we can remove the poverty and the jealousy, the temperature will surely drop. Unfortunately, this approach does not account for hatred and prejudice and is limited by available resources and time. Is there a better way?
I would suggest only one -? the Gospel of Peace. The same Lord who united Simon the Zealot and Levi the tax collector can and does unite the warring factions of any place and time. The birth of Jesus was announced with the message, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14). “He himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in his flesh the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14,15a). Jesus’ message of love and unity is the answer, the only answer, to all strife and division among humanity.
Consider this as another motivation for evangelistic zeal. Peace on earth may depend upon our spreading Jesus’ message, more than on anything else. Not only is our eternal destiny at stake (and nothing is more important); our physical security is as well.

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