Imagine you are a young man sitting in the king’s court, and you are there when the prophet Isaiah reprimands King Hezekiah.
2 Kings 20:12-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Babylonian Envoys
12 At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”
So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.”
15 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”
So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
19 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?”
When I first read this passage the words that stuck with me were in verse 19.
For he said, “Will there not be peace and truth at least in my days?
What was I to make of these words? Well, some have found nobility in them. When he interpreted Hezekiah‘s words, here is what John Wesley had to say about verse 19.
Good is, &c. – I heartily submit to this sentence, as being both just, and merciful. True penitents, when they are under divine rebukes, call them not only just, but good. Not only submit to, but accept of the punishment of their iniquity. So Hezekiah did, and by this it appeared, he was indeed humbled for the pride of his heart. (from here)
Did Hezekiah gracefully accept the Lord’s punishment? Frankly, I am puzzled by Wesley’s commentary. I suppose Hezekiah was concerned about his legacy, and it seems he was a good man, but although the Lord rebuked him, the Lord did not punish him. Isaiah had just told him Israel and his progeny would be punished, and Hezekiah forsook the opportunity to say a word in their defense.
Consider. At the beginning of this chapter (2 Kings 20:1-11), Hezekiah had just begged to have his life extended, and the Lord God had acquiesced, but now he just humbly accepts the fact his progeny will be punished because of his prideful behavior? Yet are we any different? Are we not just as prideful, fearful and weak?
Over the weekend, the North Koreans appear to have tested a hydrogen bomb (North Korea claims hydrogen bomb test was ‘perfect success,’ 6th nuclear test (foxnews.com)). Hydrogen bombs are much more powerful than an atomic bomb, but they are more difficult to make. It takes an atomic bomb to detonate a hydrogen bomb.
Successive presidential administrations have gone through the motions of trying to contain North Korea’s weapon’s development programs. They have promised success. They have even claimed success, but what have they accomplished? Peace and “truth” at least in my days.
With the complicity of much of the news media, it is fairly obvious that the Obama administration tried to cover up the extent of North Korea’s progress. Here is an example.
On August 8, The Washington Post printed what was essentially old news, North Korea now making missile-ready nuclear weapons, U.S. analysts say.
North Korea has successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power, U.S. intelligence officials have concluded in a confidential assessment.
The analysis, completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency, comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country’s atomic arsenal. The United States calculated last month that up to 60 nuclear weapons are now controlled by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Some independent experts think the number is much smaller. (continued here)
Here are some other reports.
- Obama administration knew about North Korea’s miniaturized nukes (foxnews.com): This Fox News report says The Washington Post story was old news.
- Just when did DIA first warn about North Korea nuclear warheads? (hotair.com): Here we get to the same conclusion. The Washington Post story was old news.
- New Details on Disclosure Regarding North Korea (nytimes.com): Here is what The New York Times had to say in 2013.
Effectively, we have left ourselves and our children holding the bag. Because we did not make the effort to stop the North Koreans years ago, the gangster regime that runs that place can now threaten anyone it wants with nuclear tipped missiles.
Just an update, for those interested.
Russia and China have stepped in to halt any real sanctions on the DPRK even after their nuke display, even as they wave their capability and promising to do harm, like a teenager just issued his license and driving drunk, high and 50 miles over the speed limit in a residential neighborhood yelling, “Hahahaha! Thanks for giving me this car, mom and dad!!”.
As they always do. As I suspected they would again.
This is why I hope that mountain collapses.
Because at some point you have to hope that teenager hurts himself more than others and gives the parents a lesson. Because a lot of lives are at stake, and the parents are worthless for getting this under control until reality actually smacks them in the face.
Thanks for the heads up.
Yes, we really are in a bad spot with N Korea . Clinton, Bush and Obama kicked this can down the road until it’s gotten to big and dangerous to budge.
Someone is definitely going to bruise their toe. The Russians and the Chinese are just trying to point their nasty little henchman at someone besides themselves. Would not surprise me if that backfires, but only time will tell.
In related, newly breaking news….this might be a problem that ends up resolving itself.
(kind of stands to reason, these are the folks who can’t even keep a turtle farm alive)
Interesting, but if this is a fix, the fix is worse that the problem.
Dictators don’t make mistakes. People like that alwaysl have to blame someone else. The Dear Leader of a place like North Korea can never admit a mistake. Everything he does wrong must always be the fault of some nefarious enemy wrecker.
As dumb as it sounds, if that test site starts leaking serious amounts of radiation, the Dear Leader may have to order an attack on South Korea in “revenge.”
Let’s hope the speculation is wrong.
I looked up that reference to the turtle farm, BTW.
Note that the Dear Leader probably had someone executed because of an unreliable source of electric power.
I have little doubt the turtle farmer was executed. Not sure what he’d do if the mountain caved in….there’s no telling of course but I think it would probably set his nuke program back at lot. And that would be a good thing.
It would also force China to become involved more directly than they’ve been wiling so far.
if you consider why NK wants atomic weapons, it is because of Obama.
NK saw what happened to Gaddafi of Libya who agreed to end his nuclear weapons program. He knows we will now think twice before aiding his overthrow him like we did to Gaddafi.
It is time to remove all US troops from SK, They are hostages now.. We lost enough Americans in Korea, in my opinion..
Regards and goodwill blogging.
It is quite difficult to think of anything Obama did right. There was also Ukraine.
I think abandoning South Korea would just give tyrants another incentive for acquiring nukes and using them.
If we pull our troops out South Korea, Japan, Europe, bring them all back home because we won’t let them be used as “hostages”, what are nations like North Korea, China, and Russia going to do? It is almost guaranteed North Korea will ask for South Korea’s immediate surrender, and there won’t be anything they can do about it. In a matter of weeks, perhaps, any nation without nukes will have been conquered by those with nukes, and untold millions will be dead, either from bomb blasts or political purges.
I made the same statement before on your blog and one of your followers commented that SK is prepared and could easily win over NK as long as China did not interfere again.
If NK used a nuclear bomb, the USA would retaliate and do the same.
Frankly, I do not know enough about SK military preparedness other than the comment.
Just seems to me that USA troop presence is used all over the world to deter attacks.
However, if the country is attacked with a nuclear weapon without warning, as in Pearl Harbor, the USA casualties will be significant. Both for USA troops and their families.
The old war strategies of the past seem obsolete when nuclear weapons are involved. If your follower was right about SK, the USA stationed troops are hostages now for NK to threaten the USA strategy.
I really do not think, after Iraq, that the USA will strike first again, especially with a nuclear device, do you?
Regards and goodwill blogging.
I agree with you on Obama and Gaddafi (not only was this a message to the DPRK, it was a message to Iran, and everyone else, too). The situation is what it is, can’t undo prior bad policy decisions.
The ROK government policies haven’t helped either. Right now they’re blocking access to a THAAD site and delaying full implementation until a 12 month long environmental impact study is complete. Think a 100 kt hydrogen bomb might have a much more serious impact on the environment. Wonder is KJU will complete an assessment before dropping it on Seoul….
“I really do not think, after Iraq, that the USA will strike first again, especially with a nuclear device, do you?”
Not a nuke, but we have other options (kinetic, thermal, and electromagnetic varieties). Of course a lot of their kit is underground. We can reduce their capabilities but probably not destroy them completely. Whatever route we go is probably going to cost, big time.
I hope and pray this scenario turns out to be just a bunch of young boys playing a world chess game..
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Decisions like this are made by a man. Trump has surrounded himself with good people, but they are people he chose. So it depends upon him.
I think we have to consider how North Korea would perceive a troop withdrawal. My best guess is that they would rightly perceive it as weakness. If NK used a nuclear bomb, would the USA retaliate and do the same? Do we really want North Korea to have any doubts about the answer to that question? Where would the tit for tat stop?
Dictators are desperate men. Because it is so costly in lives and wealth, we don’t want to fight their military empires. We just want to bottle them up and contain their ambitions. That requires us to leave them no doubts. When a dictator thinks he can get away with a conquest, odds are good he will attempt that conquest.
Good point, I agree. But consider that you often complain about how government growth has created a “nanny” nation in the USA.
In my opinion, you are right about a nanny government creates dependency.
Remember how President Trump complained about NATO and UN nations not contributing their fair share of money to to support these alliances?
We by taking leadership and policing the world have created a :nanny world, in my opinion. And by doing so,, have weakened the NATO and UN alliances intention for world cooperation.
Just my personal opinion from my experiences as a parent and manager in business. If you do it all by yourself, people become dependent upon you and some tend to take advantage of your goodwill.
Making a child do it on their own tends to increase both character and incentive to take on responsibility.
In life, there is time to let go and let them make and do their own decisions. Just wish we could teach them not to make the same foolish mistakes we all make when we never were taught wisdom and virtue in our youth..
Regards and goodwill blogging.
When United States started deploying troops overseas during the cold war, most of the nations where we deployed them looked upon us as Mr. Moneybags and charged us for the “privilege” of deploying our troops into their country. We need to make cost sharing arrangements so that it is understood we don’t defend other countries for nothing. That should probably extend to free facilities for our troops. However, those soldiers remain under US command. So I don’t think it makes much sense to expect someone else to pay the cost of their training, pay, and equipment.
We have created a pickle that’s for certain.
Or maybe it’s a sticky wicket—or more aptly and simply put, a hell of a mess!
It seems certain past administrations were more concerned with perceptions of self.
More concerned by what would make them look and sound grandiose to the little people…
that adoring crowd… all the while knowing that a monster was in the making.
So it was better option to simply ignore the monster, hoping it would just go away or maybe even better, it would just become someone else’ worry later down the road.
So here was to getting out looking good while the getting was good…
Truly not the mindset of a leader who sees his governing as a responsibility beset upon him from a higher power.
Tough stances, touch choices are not for the faint of heart. Decisions that are not popular, not seen as “user friendly” do not guarantee a second terms, pats on the back by the popular ones or a rise in favorable ratings.
But they are necessary and are an essential part of good leadership. Because a good leader knows he / she has been charged with the wellbeing and care of those under his / her watch—making their safety a priority regardless of the wellbeing of self—
the sacrifice of self for the greater good….
Yep—a mess to be sure!
The only option at this is to ostracize nations like North Korea and Iran. The only problem is that nations like China and Russia are not that much different from North Korea and Iran. So we will be trying to get nations to work with us who have more in common with the nations we are trying to disarm. But that is what we have going for us. The leaders of the nations we will be trying to get work with us know full well just how dangerous North Korea and Iran could become to their own interests, and they have no scruples about betraying them.
All the while Mr Putin dismisses our clanging of the warning gong as all but a puff of wind and nonsense….either he is clueless to the danger of having his country perched so precariously close to this little nutty nation—- or—- he’s in cahoots and is thinking he can sway the nutty little leader of the nutty little nation into doing his bidding…which goes back to being what I think is totally clueless—nutters usually don’t listen to reason…be it from either perceived friend or foe—all of which brings us round to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis appear to think that they can hold sway with Iran….which once again points to a clueless ruling kingdom who is comfortably sitting upon their egotistical throne…unaware those having gone rouge, won’t be coming back to the fold anytime soon…so yes, we are in a pickle….
We are the salt of the earth according to the Bible. Salt is a preservative. God has sprinkled us around all over the world to combat these types of situations with a more powerful weapon than nuclear warheads….Prayer.
A picture is worth a thousand words:
Back in the early nineties, we still had nuclear warheads in the ROK, facing north. We removed them in exchange for DPRK’s agreed compliance to keep Korea a nuke-free peninsula.
See where appeasement got us.
There’s an interesting theory/rumor regarding the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia, which i find kind of credible. They think China was looking at him to replace Jim Jong Un.
From my perspective, the first thing we must do if we want the DPRK to believe we’re serious this time….evacuate military dependents and non-essential civilian personnel from the ROK. No need to make any large statements, just a very loud very public announcement that this is what we are doing. And let them guess why.
Sorry. Your comment went into the spam queue. No idea why.
Anyway, I am glad I did not miss it. Excellent!
Thank you. 🙂
I lived in South Korea a while back (for one year, in the 90s), and have tried to keep up with the politics since then.