God's Foreign PolicyMonday, February 28, 2011
Sudden turmoil grips the world.
Then there were hints of trouble in China, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Oman, Kuwait and Uganda.
Now the focus shifts to Libya.
How much longer can Gaddafi cling to power?
The headlines tell the story:
"The Last Days of a Desert Despot"
"It's Time to Get Tough With Gaddafi"
"If Saudis Revolt, the World's in Trouble"
"Is North Korea the Next to Fall?"
"Mideast Wave Continues"
"Al Qaeda Calls for Revolt Against Arab Rulers"
Writing about the situation in Egypt (The Plagues of Egypt, February 2, 2011), Walter Russell Mead notes that America cannot control the outcome in that country or in any country currently in turmoil:
The Obama administration is now living through one of the oldest and most difficult recurring problems in American foreign policy: What do you do when revolution breaks out in an allied country?
The only clue history offers is not an encouraging one: There is often no satisfactory resolution of the dilemmas revolutions present ...
Egypt has serious problems that have no obvious or simple solutions. That is the fundamental issue that confronts Egyptian authorities and protesters alike.
Nobody connected with Egypt -- its own policymakers whoever those turn out to be, foreign diplomats trying to adjust to new realities, and above all the Egyptian people themselves -- is going to have an easy life in the months ahead. President Obama will do well if he can avoid being blamed by everyone involved for all the ways in which the new situation in Egypt falls inevitably short of their hopes. Most of his predecessors have not escaped the fallout from foreign revolutions; President Obama must hope that this time is different.
When President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast (February 3, 2011), he included this sentence in his remarks:
We pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world.
As of this moment, it is not clear how or when that prayer will be answered. Foreign policy has spiritual overtones most presidents never think about. The Bible says much about the nations of the world-their origin, their alliances, their political power, their military might and their ultimate destiny.
Isn't it interesting that in times of turmoil we always return to God? Warfare drives us to our knees. We are good at killing each other but not so good at making peace. Even the irreligious pray because they realize that only God can help us. We know instinctively that man cannot deliver us in the day of trouble. That raises an interesting question: Does God have a foreign policy? The answer is yes. Does God care what the nations do? Yes. Does he pay attention to world leaders? Yes. Does he take their threats seriously? Yes.
Psalms 2 shows us God's foreign policy. That's good to know in times like these.
This is one of the most famous psalms in Christian history. The New Testament writers quoted it often because of its high view of Christ and its triumphant vision of his coming kingdom. It opens with the kings of the earth in open rebellion against God and ends with the Lord issuing an ultimatum and an invitation.
Psalms 2 tells us what God thinks of the nations. This is what God thinks of America.
You can read the rest of the sermon online.