There is much concern about the future of our planet and its people but there is a great divide as to what must be done and how to accomplish it. The next few articles in this space will explore two very different schools of thought concerning our world and its future. One plan is man’s plan and the other is God’s plan.
On June 13, 1992 a consortium of 178 nations met in Brazil to consider the future of the planet. A plan for “Global Sustainable Development” was formed and approved. It was called Agenda 21 in consideration of the fast approaching 21st century. More meetings were held in 1997, 2002, 2012 and the plan was revised and updated as new realities were encountered.
The United Nations building in New York City hosted a meeting on September 25-27, 2015 to further refine the plan. Seventeen “Sustainable Development Goals” were approved for the benefit of the “people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.” The new expanded plan called Agenda 2030 is admirable and ambitious and the goal is the to be fully operational by the year 2030.
The ambitious “Green New Deal” recently introduced to our House of Representatives and Congress basically follows the same path as Agenda 21 and Agenda 2030 proposed by the United Nations.
Though these plans contain some good and worthy goals, the problem lies in how to implement them. In order to comply by 2030, these programs can only be implemented by drastic intervention by global heads of government.
In our next article we will discuss how the Bible predicts just such a global government.
“Faith begins where Reason sinks exhausted.” (Albert Pike)
To the untrained eye, it had to be the most unorthodox move in the armed history. The fact that a kid with no combat training had squared off against a giant even the king’s most would not challenge was one thing. But to do it without a shield? The battalion must have whispered to one another as he walked by. Hadn’t the king provided him with armor? But David won one of the most decisive victories in military history, all without the aid of a shield – to the untrained eye, at least.
So why did David reject the armor of his king? Perhaps, being as covenant-minded as he was, he recalled God’s words to Abraham as Saul’s men adjusted the ill-fitting armor:
“I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.” (Genesis 15:1)
Perhaps he realized that with God as a shield, Saul’s armor was not so necessary after all.
Years later, David, now king, would find himself on the run from a son who had not only betrayed him but who had also amassed an army against him. Perhaps he thought back to that same moment with Goliath – the moment he had prepared for battle by laying aside his terrestrial shield, when he wrote in Psalm 3:3, “
Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.”
As we move through life, we tend to collect pieces of armor to keep us safe from all manner of pain and injuries, physical and personal. Even so, even our greatest armor cannot always keep us safe. Still, as we face our greatest battles, we can cast our eyes to the hills and exchange our earthly shields for a divine one that will never fail not only to defend us but also to lift us in our hour of greatest need.
True love is an awesome and beautiful miracle. It is not wimpy or weak but rather robust and strong. This time of the year, we are surrounded with so many thoughts and opinions on love. In many ways, love has been commodified – turned into something we can elicit with the purchase of the right product.
And yet love is so much greater. It is the most powerful emotion and the purest motive. The Apostle Paul, with his characteristic God-given inspiration, paints a beautiful portrait of love. To the troubled church in Corinth he writes:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever… There are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 12:4-8, 13)
As our society reinterprets and even cheapens love at times, let us never forget the true, beautiful, and unselfish nature of love. After all, it is the very essence of God.