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That’s how CNN describes today’s special election in Georgia, which has become “the most expensive House race in history.” Today’s Washington Post has a headline story on the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was released in a coma from North Korea a few days ago. And NBC News warns that “dangerously hot temperatures” are forecast for California and the desert Southwest today.
However, if you were reading the news on the other side of the world, the headlines would be very different. The Jerusalem Post reports on yesterday’s meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Jordan’s King Abdullah in Paris. China Daily tells us about an anti-smog campaign in Beijing and other northern cities. And The Korea Times reports on a water shortage crisis in southern Korea.
The Greek philosopher Anaximander is credited with drawing the first map of the world. He lived in Miletus, on the western coast of modern-day Turkey. Unsurprisingly, Miletus was at the center of his map.
Wherever you are, you seem to be in the center of the world. What leads the news depends on where you’re reading the news. But God has a different perspective.
According to his prophet, “All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness” (Isaiah 40:17). That’s because “it is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers” (v. 22). It is God “who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness” (v. 23).
Consider an analogy. My wife wrote a blog recently on the barn swallows who built a nest on our porch. We waited until their chicks had hatched and left, then we knocked down their nest. When the swallows returned, they seemed most indignant. Clearly, they thought the porch was theirs since they lived there for a short time. But it was there before they arrived and will be there after they leave.
So much of what matters so much on earth is of little consequence in heaven. Even Christians are tempted to make more of the church than we do of Christ. That’s because our culture measures success by what it can see—buildings, programs, activities. But God measures success by what he can see—”man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Oswald Chambers: “We count as service what we do in the way of Christian work; Jesus Christ calls service what we are to him, not what we do for him” (my emphasis). Imagine a bride who focused on learning about her groom, talking about him, and serving his family and causes, but spent little time with him. What kind of marriage would theirs be?
God’s word calls us the “bride” of Christ (Revelation 19:7). How is your marriage today?