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Iran, the bomb, and true peace

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Students protesting against the speech of the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia, 2007 (Credit: David Shankbone via en.wikipedia.org)

“We’re not taking any options off the table.  Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a threat not only to the region but also to the United States.”  With these words, President Obama stated yesterday his continued opposition to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  The president is right: Iran already possesses missiles capable of reaching Israel and U.S. bases in the Gulf.

Last week, United Nations weapons inspectors issued a report detailing the nation’s frightening progress toward nuclear weapons.  Since Iranian President Ahmadinejad has repeatedly stated that Israel “must be wiped off the map”, the U.N. report may one day be the prelude to war.

It is no coincidence that on Saturday, a massive blast at an ammunition depot outside Tehran killed at least 15 people.  The base housed Shahab missiles capable of reaching Israel and American bases.  One Western intelligence source insists that Israel is behind the “accident.”
There are 33 conflicts raging around the world this morning.  How, on a fallen planet like ours, can you and I experience true peace today?  Recently I’ve been exploring Isaiah 26:3, which makes this encouraging promise: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  Let’s explore each word for a moment.

“You” points to God, the only source of lasting peace.  We cannot attain peace through our own abilities, achievements, or activities.  If peace could be produced by human effort, wouldn’t we have achieved it by now?

“Keep” translates a Hebrew word that means to “guard” or protect.  “Perfect peace” translates shalom, to be right with God, others, and ourselves.  “Mind” refers to our attitudes, thoughts, worries, and decisions.

To experience God’s shalom our minds must be “steadfast.”  What does this mean?  The Hebrew is samak, which literally means “to lean upon.”  It pictures a person leaning and depending on another.  A person depends on God to the degree that “he trusts in you.”

Are you experiencing God’s shalom this morning?  Have you asked his Spirit to be the source of your attitudes and thoughts today?  Have you turned your worries over to his power and grace?  Have you asked him to guide your decisions according to his “good, pleasing, and perfect will” (Romans 12:2)?  If not, would you take a moment to step into his “perfect peace” right now?