Friday, May 14, 2021. The news are full of challenging problems. How do we navigate the difficult questions of politics and power in an international framework? Today, we see the difficult situation in Hong Kong. We see the war in Israel. We see the international struggle for dominance and influence. How to live with it? Ignore it? Enter the fight? Is there a path to peace?
What can God do? …
Clearly, our actions are important for our situation. The NATO has been founded to provide a strong protective alliance. And it seems important to be able to protect yourself. But of course, any protective power can also be converted into aggressive power! How to keep the destructive element under control?
The psalms in the bible guide us to another viewpoint. They refer to God as the one who can save. In Psalm 80, for example, we hear:
1 To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. A Testimony. Of Asaph, a Psalm. Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. 2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us! 3 Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! (Psalm 80, 1-3)
Is God's power a part of world history? What is the role of God's power in this world? The Old Testament describes the role of God on all levels of human life. He is the all powerful God with respect to armies. You can read about it when you browse the many historical books of the Old Testament. From the books of Moses to the book of Daniel you hear about God's direct interference with human history.
But the salvation power of God is not somewhere in empty space. It is linked to his character, to the ethics of his commandments. His power is linked to his justice. It is linked to faith and trust in him.
And God is not just another force in the national or international game. He is not just one of the emperors. He is the eternal God, the creator of all. He made them all, from the Chinese to the Americans, from the Africans to the Europeans. He is the father of all of them! He is the one who keeps the earth moving. He is the one who established all the laws which govern this world, from its tiniest parts to the light-years of the Universe. We should not underestimate the unbelievable surpassing power of the Lord!
God's Salvation for me …
But the bible tells us more about the deep and complete salvation which God want for us. God does not just want us to be saved from an enemy. He does not just want us to be secure for some years from canons and rockets. He wants our life to be fully justified and secure in terms of purpose, acceptance and love.
Purpose, justice, love is the main part of God's salvation. All the other parts are second order, but still very important. Purpose, justice and love come in a package - the salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Purpose comes when we find a jewel, which is God himself in Jesus. The jewel is so much of worth, that it shines brighter than any other thing which could give light to our days and our nights. Justice is given to us by Jesus himself, through his path to the cross of Calvary, his death and resurrection. It is given to those who believe in him. And love is his character, his life, his existence. This love is full friendship, full fidelity, full reliability. He does not let us down, never.
What ever danger I am in, I should first seek his kingdom, his faith, his justice. All other things, that is what he promised, shall be given, when we seek him first. So salvation has a clear line of preference. It is him first, and all other things later. It is faith first. It is justice first. It is love first. This path is amazing indeed. (Roland Potthast)