I though of this after a conversation, in which one person indicated that peace and harmony was not absolutely defined, but relative to each persons view.
It reminded me of what people say about truth - that truth is relative to each person, hence there is no absolute truth.
That says to me, in other words, everything is determined by what we think or decide, individually.
This worldview really reminded me of the profound truth that was written centuries ago - the root cause of every problem on the face of the earth.
It starts in Genesis.
1 Now the serpent was the most cautious of all the wild animals of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it said to the woman: “Did God really say that you must not eat from every tree of the garden?” 2 At this the woman said to the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden. 3 But God has said about the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden: ‘You must not eat from it, no, you must not touch it; otherwise you will die.’” 4 At this the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day you eat from it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad.”
22 Jehovah God then said: “Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad. . . .
There are various ideas on how these verses should be understood.
I appreciate the way they are understood by Jehovah's Witnesses... not because I am one, but because their understanding is in line with the context, and makes more sense, if we take the Bible as a complete book, inspired by God, as Paul and Jesus said.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.
In a nutshell, the understanding is that the tree of knowledge of good and bad was a real tree which God placed in the garden as a representation of his right as sovereign, to decide, or set the rules for his creation, as to what is good and bad.
In other words, there is only one set law or standard, on which to determine what is good, and what is bad. People do not decide that for themselves.
So for example, John Doe does not get to decide, X is good for me, and Y is bad for me, while Jane Doe is deciding X is bad for me, and Y is good for me.
We see the problem.
There is disharmony, disorder, disunity - even chaos.
This independence from God - the supreme law giver, is the root of all problems
When Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, and eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and bad, they were really rebelling against God's sovereignty - his right to rule them, and determine good and bad for them.
They chose to decide for themselves what was good, and what was bad.
This was instigated by the original serpent - the Devil, who encouraged the rebellion.
Hence, problem after problem, and why man can never fix the problems, because they cannot agree on any set standard.
Each person decides what is good, bad, peace, harmony, etc.
It's crazy, to me, that these cannot be identified in a definite way, but is left to subjective opinion. Crazy.
However, the same book that identifies the root cause of problems, also makes it clear that chaos, disorder... can only end, when one allows the source of true righteousness to determine what is good, or bad, for them.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace--as in all the churches of the saints.
Isaiah 32:17 The work of righteousness will be peace; the service of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever.
Is it not better to have one set standard, and law - from the supreme law giver - for all people to live by, especially considering that the evidence clearly shows, man does not know his way? Jeremiah 10:23