BIBLE READING: Isaiah 40:1-20
TEXT: Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust (Isaiah 40:15)
This question was asked by someone from South Korea, who understandably is concerned about the tensions and the potential threat from a dictatorial regime to the North armed with nuclear weapons. The question is always difficult because when we ask WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) we are really asking what should we do? – because we want to be like Jesus.
In general though I think that is an unwise way to think. God has given us his standards and laws in his Word and it is better for us to apply them to our own circumstances – rather than speculate. on the basis of what Jesus would do – because a) we don’t know and b) Jesus is different from us. We should be asking what does Jesus want us to do. In terms then of what we should do I would suggest the following.:
We pray – “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). So we should pray for the leaders of North and South Korea, the US, China and Russia. We pray that we may be able to live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
We love our enemies – That is what Jesus taught us to do. We should be seeking their salvation, not their destruction.
We communicate the Gospel – John Ross was a missionary from my own area, the Scottish East Highlands. He was the first person to translate the Bible into Korean. The people of North Korea experienced a great revival in 1907. We long for them to experience that again. Who will go today? I am sure that is what Jesus would want us to do.
But what would he do? Remember that he is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, before whom, one day every knee will bow. As we see in our text –the nations are just a drop in the bucket to him. Sometimes the Lord’s people forget who the Lord is and become overwhelmed by the power and strength of those who are arrayed against us. We see how small and weak we are, and how great and powerful the mighty nations appear to be – yet they are just a drop in the bucket to the Lord. Whatever the appearance before our eyes in this world – we need to remember the reality.
Also remember that our God is so sovereign, wise and powerful that he can even use dictators and evil rulers for his own glory. King Cyrus for example in the 7th Century BC was used to deliver and help the Jewish people. I remember well when President Ceausescu of Romania not only oppressed and robbed his own people but also sought to destroy churches. Within a year he had been overthrown and executed (1989).
Things in this world can change very quickly. So quickly that by the time this is printed
the situation in Korea may already have changed. We know that Jesus will return and that all the kings, leaders and people of this earth will bow down to him. That includes the leaders of North Korea, who seem to think that they are gods. One day they will find that there is only one King of Kings.
Meanwhile we pray, trust and work to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ – not only because that extends his kingdom and results in the salvation of millions, but because it is also the most revolutionary movement in history. The world is turned upside down, as the Gospel is proclaimed and people are changed. That is what Jesus will do for North Korea.
CONSIDER: Are you ever scared, confused, depressed and discouraged by what is going on in the world? How does faith in Jesus Christ help you? What is the importance of understanding and believing in the sovereignty and power of God? What is the best thing you can do for North Korea and other countries that are ruled by dictators?
RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING: The Korean Pentecost – Bruce Hunt and William Blair
PRAYER: Sovereign Lord, the nations are as nothing to you. They are just a drop in the bucket. Even when the rulers of this world gather together and mock you, you laugh. We pray that you would break the arm of the wicked man. We pray that you would protect your people. O Lord, you are the Prince of Peace, grant us peace in our time…and grant peace and prosperity in Korea. We pray for our brothers and sisters there. In Jesus name. Amen.