Why do we have wars?
I believe most of us are familiar with the Epistle of James:
1From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:1-3, King James Version)
In summary, wars come from selfishness. Desire leads to killing in order to obtain. Instead of seeking Godly solutions, humankind tends to take what is their “right” (in their own eyes) to have.
Herbert W Armstrong often spoke of the “way of give and the way of get”. The Tree of Life represented God’s way of outgoing concern for others. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represented taking for oneself what was perceived to be good. Mankind has been picking fruit from the wrong tree ever since that fateful incident where Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden tree.
By partaking of that tree, humanity was left more or less to its own devices. Human beings had to create their own societies, their own laws and their own religions apart from the true spiritual knowledge that was previously available directly from God.
Thus, it wasn’t long before a murder occurred. One person valued their own standards above the life of his own brother. Instead of looking to themselves for the solutions to their problems, people often blame others and lash out at them. Thus it has been ever since.
That does not mean God cannot use even evil in order to bring about good. In fact, in a way, that really is the lesson. God is the ultimate source of truth and goodness. Evil doesn’t have the power to sustain itself beyond what He will allow. So, as we will see later, even war is used by God to teach mankind the lessons it must learn and have ingrained in its very core.