April 05, 2016

Some Biblical Perspective during an Election Year

Post by Brittany Tedesco

U.S. Presidential Seal.

Another President of the United States will be elected this year.

In writing those words, I can feel my pulse quicken a bit.

This election year has created such a frenzy, such a panic, among Americans—many of whom dislike the current frontrunners. And so much hangs in the balance. The sharp increase in Islamic terrorism is only adding to the pressure. This next presidential election could be the most important in our country's history.

If only we had informed voters who could pick a decent candidate. . . if only we knew our history a little better. . . if only our nation wasn't so godless...if only. . . God controlled things?

Oh, right. He does. Sometimes I forget that.

In last week's post, I wrote about the scientific evidence we have that the universe is expanding—that it's not infinite, it hasn't always existed. The universe had a starting point, and only a Being outside of space and time (ie: the universe) could have created space and time.

When we worry or get lost in politics, we've lost sight of the bigness of our God.

"And it is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings" (Daniel 2:21 NASB).

Rock arch under a star-lit sky.

God is sovereign, He makes that perfectly clear throughout His Word. It doesn't matter how many uninformed voters head to the polls, it is He who appoints and deposes of earthly rulers.

And whether the rulers He appoints are good, God-fearing people or evil despots, His purposes are never thwarted.

The book of Daniel takes place in Babylon under the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. The King had conquered Jerusalem and taken God's people, the Jews, captive. Daniel, among the finest of the young Jewish men, was ordered to serve in the king's court.

At that time, Babylon was a world empire, and Nebuchadnezzar was drunk on his own prestige. He was arrogant and ruthless. He threatened to tear limb from limb and burn down the houses of any of his magicians who couldn't relay and interpret his dream. He threw three Hebrews who disobeyed his orders into a fiery furnace.

Daniel in the lion's den.

I imagine the people under his rule were both terrified and in awe of him. They probably believed the propaganda they heard, maybe even revered him as divine.

One of the members of my Bible study compared Nebuchadnezzar to Kim Jong-Un of North Korea—one of the nations being reached by Christian Aid Mission-assisted native missionaries.

Arrogant and ruthless, Kim Jong-Un ordered the execution of his uncle, who governed the country while he was too young to do it, along with his uncle's entire family, including underage sons, daughters, and grandchildren.

At a very young age, North Korean children are taught that Kim Jong-Un is a benevolent, hard-working ruler—even though people there are dying of starvation or languishing in labor camps. But you dare not voice even the mildest opposition to the regime, lest your spouse or one of your children turn you in. That happens quite frequently.

A North Korean believer whose son was drafted into the army described the soldiers, weak from hunger, as "an army of skeletons who wear uniforms."

Kim Jong-Un.

There's no Internet there, and TVs and radios are fixed to the state-run channel. In fact, according to a North Korean ministry leader, everyone is required to sit in front of the TV between 7pm and 8pm everyday to be indoctrinated with propaganda.

What kind of propaganda? In 2012, North Korea's state-owned news agency reported that the country's archaeologists discovered a unicorn lair in Pyongyang. Last summer, the news agency reported that, under Kim's direction, the country had developed a drug that cures AIDS, Ebola, Sars, and Mers.

Just like Nebuchadnezzar, Kim Jong-Un obviously suffers from delusions of grandeur.

But let's not forget Who is in control.

God reduced Nebuchadnezzar to a wild beast who ate grass with the cattle for seven years, but not before warning him with a dream, "In order that the living may know that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whom He wishes, and sets over it the lowliest of men."

The dream was fulfilled a year later when Nebuchadnezzar looks out over his kingdom and declares, "Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?"

Wrote G.K. Chesterton, "We talk of wild animals, but man is the only wild animal. . . Man is wild because he alone, on this speck of rock called earth, stands up to God, shakes his fist, and says, 'I do what I want because I want to do it, and God had better leave me alone.'"

The Korean Peninsula at night.

The Korean Peninsula at night. North Korea is completely dark, the bright spot is Pyongyang.

At the end of a humiliating seven-year-period as a wild beast, Nebuchadnezzar's senses are restored and he declares that God "does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand...for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."

How easy would it be for God to humble Kim Jong-Un in a similar way? Perhaps He will one day. But in the meantime, despite Kim's best efforts at locking down the country from any outside influence—including, and especially, Christianity—God's truth is marching forward. No one "can ward off His hand."

William Blake painting of Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar, by William Blake, depicting the king during his bout of insanity.

Beginning in the 1990s, North Korean women began sneaking across the border into China, hoping to find work to feed their starving families. Hundreds of thousands have entered China throughout the years, only to be met by traffickers who sell them to poor or disabled Chinese men. Some stay, losing all hope to ever see their families again. Some are arrested and sent back to North Korea where they're thrown into one of the notorious labor camps.

This was the fate of one North Korean believer, who'd been impregnated by the Chinese man to whom she'd been sold. Four other North Korean women in the same detention room with her took poison when they'd learned they were headed to a labor camp.

Asian people in line.

After surviving torture, beatings, and a subsequent miscarriage, the woman was released and met a North Korean ministry leader who led her to Christ.

Christian Aid Mission assists this ministry, which discovered a group of 91 trafficked North Korean women near the Chinese border. A church was formed among these women with whom they shared the gospel. Within the past year, the ministry trained 14 of these women for gospel work. Since June 2015, five new churches of North Korean women have been established in northern China.

The gospel is reaching the people of North Korea, despite their tyrannical dictator.

And if God's purposes are being accomplished among the people of that nation, can we not trust that, no matter who God sees fit to appoint as our next President, His purposes will be accomplished among the people of our nation as well?

We don't have to get caught up in the frenzy or the panic. We don't have to fret or hold our breaths. Our God reigns.

Ted - posted April 8, 2016
This blog and other articles and books I have read all portray what God is doing in North Korea and it is awe-inspiring. The same goes for many other parts of the world such as the middle east and among Islamic nations. The fear I see in many people in this election year should remind us,that though the devil is doing all he can to render God impotent, yet the Holy Spirit raises a banner against him. There is much to be praised and we also can know that as he made all things for His glory, so that all things work for God even the devil and wicked men and women. Remembering these things, we can pray and praise for all God is doing in Jesus Christ. Even in these nations that seem closed and even irreligious such as the Scandanavian countries, if we look at things from God's perspective, all is being worked out to His glory and honor.