Headlines from the New York Times for Thursday, August 31, 2017
Trump Says He Will Not Talk to North Korea. Experts Fear He Will.
President Trump vowed on Wednesday that he would not talk to Kim Jong-un, cooling off what has become his on-again, off-again cultivation of North Korea’s rogue dictator.
But if Mr. Trump’s tweet, in which he said, “talking is not the answer!,” seemed to reignite tensions with North Korea, it also revealed a paradox in how Asia experts view the crisis. Some fear less that Mr. Trump is going to start a war with Mr. Kim than that he is going to stumble into a risky, unpredictable dialogue with him.
The world’s attention has understandably focused on Mr. Trump’s saber-rattling threats against Mr. Kim — most dramatically, his promise to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea if Mr. Kim fired ballistic missiles at United States territory.
But a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim, these experts said, could open the door to ratifying North Korea’s nuclear status or scaling back America’s joint military exercises with South Korea. That could sunder American alliances with Japan and South Korea and play to the benefit of China, which has long advocated direct dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang.
Readings from the Prophet Hosea for Thursday, August 31, 2017
God reveals himself as a pained, jilted husband. It takes great honesty and transparency to be willing to be characterized like this. However, God is certainly secure in his self-image, which is quite distinct from other gods.
In the verse below, God’s expression of pain is almost palpable. He has given and his people have turned to false gods, believing that they were the source of blessing.
Hosea 2.8 – She did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished upon her silver and gold that they used for Baal.
“Baal” is an interesting word. It literally means, “owner.” Our world has turned from a loving heavenly Father to an owner. One of my friends who became addicted to drugs said this about his experience. He said, “I thought I was going to a party, but ended up in hell.” That can be said about our attraction to money, sex and power, too. They can easily “own” and dominate our lives.
The tragedy is that we substitute a relationship with the greatest Being of all for an owner.
Prayers for Thursday, August 31, 2017
Dear God, we return to you. You are truly the One who can give us all that we need.