Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, July 24, 2014

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Notice this statement:  Your Volkswagen is German. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers  Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant? Pull yourself together.  (From the True Activist Facebook page, posted on June 13, 2014).

Not all of us can afford the German car.  Most of us will skip the vodka.  Some will skip the coffee.  Others of us don’t live in democracies.  But we get the meaning of the above statement.

We think of the world today as a global village. Yet no place today is more cosmopolitan than ancient Tyre.  But it would not last.  On the day of Tyre’s ruin all the kings and merchants who loved her would stand apart, scared of being caught up in the kind of destruction brought about by Babylon. They would lament the fall of Tyre, shaving their heads as Job did, cloth themselves in goat’s hair, weeping and wailing bitterly, a spectacle indeed.  Yet it is not for Tyre itself they grieve.  It is the wealth she helped them acquire and the dream of their own security they miss.  They are no more loyal to Tyre than the prostitute’s lovers of Ezekiel 23 were.

Globalism today can make us feel so secure.  If anyone attacks one place, all other places suffer.  Surely self-interest will prevail and there will be some peace.  Yet John the Revelator borrows Ezekiel’s language to speak of the final collapse of Babylon, when merchants and kings will again lament, but not with godly lament (Revelation 18:9-24).

There is only one way to real peace, only one real Prince of peace.  May the glitter of the world never fool us into believing otherwise.

Ross Cole
Senior Lecturer
Avondale College, Australia