Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, September 4, 2017
North Korean Nuclear Test Draws U.S. Warning of ‘Massive Military Response’
North Korea’s detonation of a sixth nuclear bomb on Sunday prompted the Trump administration to warn that even the threat to use such a weapon against the United States and its allies “will be met with a massive military response.’’
The test — and President Trump’s response — immediately raised new questions about the president’s North Korea strategy and opened a new rift with a major American ally, South Korea, which Mr. Trump criticized for its “talk of appeasement” with the North.
The underground blast was by far North Korea’s most powerful ever. Though it was far from clear that the North had set off a hydrogen bomb, as it claimed, the explosion caused tremors that were felt in South Korea and China. Experts estimated that the blast was four to sixteen times more powerful than any the North had set off before, with far more destructive power than the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.
Readings from the Prophet Hosea for Monday, September 4, 2017
The essence of idolatry is that we give our loyalty and services to substitutes for God. Anything can be a substitute for God. Three major substitutes are money, sex and power. Any addiction is a clear substitute for a personal relationship with God. We can be addicted to drugs and alcohol, but we can also be addicted to being right all of the time and to work.
The perversion of idolatry is that people can actually believe that their idol is God. What a tragedy! Notice what God says through Hosea in this passage. An important question for religious people to ask in today’s culture is whether or not the One we worship is the one true God or an Americanized version of him.
Hosea 2.16-17 – On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, “My husband,” and no longer will you call me, “My Baal.” For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more.
When God’s redemptive work is completed, people will relate to him as an intimate, personal friend and not as a poor substitute.
Prayers for Monday, September 4, 2017
Dear God, please help us to see through the fog of our cultural views of you. May we give to you the loyalty and service you desire.