Problem and Solution

By Not Known

The UN Secretary General recently said that things have become worse in the international arena over the last 10 years. That should make us think.

Big increases in knowledge, education, technology, communications, wealth and such like have not become keys to an improvement in the human condition. Corruption, injustice and restrictions on personal freedom abound. The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ remains a daunthing challenge in things like food, water, health care, education, and access to technology. The sharp increase in intelligence and security activities within countries and betwen them testifies to growing anxiety about our safety. The World and its nations are more fragmented along various lines of division.

And on it goes. Despite the cheery rhetoric from the champions of progress, many people are less happy, less optimistic and less hopeful than previously. In the language of the prophet Isaiah, the human grass is withered indeed (Is 40:7)

Like us, Isaiah looked at a world where the human condition was bleak. His own nation was being dismembered by international forces and disintegrating internally. Unlike modern evangelists of the gospel of self-help, Isiah looked upwards and outwards for the remedy. Humanity was, and is, the problem. The solution cannot and does not lie in ourselves.

Isaiah points us to God as the solution to our deepest problems. He reminds us of God’s character. He is able to help, for his is the sovereign Lord (Is 40:10). He is willing to help, for he has gentleness to gather his lambs and hold them close to his heard (Is 40:11).

Over recent weeks, we have seen that God is central. He is the reference point when we try to understand who we are, where are are and the nature of our basic problem. We are complex creatures, but ultimately we need to understand that we are God’s creatures living in God’s world and that our deepest problem is rebelling against God. That basic problem has one glorious solution – and that is to follow Isaiah and look to God’s salvation.

Until we look to God, successive UN Secretary Generals are doomed to be chroniclers of human bleakness. And our lives will become more perilous and less happy. Let’s not go there. Let’s go to the effective solution that lies in God alone.