Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


Day 24

In the summer of 2006, North Korea test fired seven missiles. I was on a plane around that time and wrote this:
I came to my seat and was greeted rather pleasantly by a soldier from Southeast Colorado. His name was Robert Duran.  He was Latino and sported a thin and poorly grown mustache. He was very friendly and I was happy to have someone to talk with. He told me he had been on leave for what was supposed to be 40 days, but with North Korea's recent missle tests, he had been called back early. I could tell he was not happy about this, but he understood that it was his job.
I thought it was interesting back in 2006 and I think it's even more interesting now. First of all, I doubt that he was called back for the test alone, but at that point in time, I had no knowledge of the North Korean situation save for the Korean War. On October 9th of the same year, North Korea detonated their first nuclear device. To that, the genius in me concluded:
North Korea did in fact test their bomb. This does not make me feel great. Kim would not bomb Seoul, but he would bomb the US or Japan. Even if he does not bomb anyone, he's just setting everyone up to attack him. Things might get a little crazy over here.
I was speaking like a true moron, using assumption followed by speculation. On top of that, I remember that I was doing so with relative authority because I assumed that no one else knew about that situation. This is actually the curse of people tasked with educating and leading people. They have a responsibility to be intellectually fair with themselves before making the decision to bloviate from a lectern.

Here we are now, four years later and still dealing with the belligerency of the despotic Kim regime. Back in March of this year, an ROK ship (Cheonan) was attacked and eventually sank, sealing the fate of 46 South Korean sailors. Last week, the Korean government announced the findings from its probe. The results indicate that it was a North Korean torpedo that struck the ship. Today, President Lee Myung-bak addressed the nation and world with a strong, yet eloquent speech. (Video with English translation here.) In short, South Korea will no longer allow the North to use violence and fear to win concessions from the international community. 

Fear has always been one of the best political tools for manipulation. Scaring people sparks emotions and emotional people support causes. Kim Jong-il knows that and I don't think I have to tell you that either. The Bible talks a lot about fear and peace, but it does so in a different way. The Old Testament certainly touches on war more as the New Testament focuses less on war and external threats than it does on the peace that living without sin offers. And following that logic, it says this:
There is no one who is righteous, no one who is wise or who worships God. All have turned away from God; they have all gone wrong; no one does what is right; not even one. Their words are full of deadly deceit; wicked lies roll of their tongues, and dangerous threats, like snake's poison, from their lips; their speech is filled with bitter curses. They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God. -Romans 3:10-18
Freeing yourself from fear should be the main goal in all of our lives. Both this month and last month I found a lot of relief from my very common and humanly fears and desires. Greed, anger, lust and envy all cause fear because they create a false sense of desire and urgency. It goes like this: My envy of other people will cause me to lust after what others have. That lust will eventually dominate my life and make me greedy. Greed is something that can never be fully satisfied. That gap will make me an angry person. This situation will ultimately cause me to fear the world and God rather than love them both.

I can control those desires though. Many people can and many Christians do. However, there are many people who fear the wrong things. And since fear and anger are so intrinsically tied together, the list can be pretty long. I don't want to demonize anyone by making such a list, so I will ask myself a question related to the original topic instead.

Considering the erratic behavior of Kim Jong-il and his penchant for making trouble, is there anything that the Bible can offer to calm the nerves of the inhabitants on the peaceful southern half of this divided peninsula?

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