This is what I’m talking about…

Obama wins the prize...but why

Obama wins the prize...but why

“God has placed eternity in the hearts of men…”  is one of those mysterious verses in the Bible that is best explained through illustration, by pointing at something and saying, “that’s what it means”.  Now that Obama’s been awarded a the Nobel Peace Prize before actually doing much of anything substantive to contribute to world peace, I think we have an example of Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Don’t go all “Rush” on me, and scream about liberal conspiracies.  Your tirade will cause you to miss something valuable.

Don’t whine, either, about how Obama deserves this award, and how his presence at the table as someone who tries negotiating before bombs is enough of a cause for him to triumph over these candidates. He doesn’t, and it isn’t.

If we step back though, and take a deep breath, we might realize that Obama was granted this award, not for anything he’s done, but for what his style represents.  Rightly or wrongly, the committee was impressed with the removal of the defense shield, and his willingness to engage in dialogue with enemies with whom the previous administration refused to converse.  Did you get that?  They were impressed that he was reducing weapons and talking with his enemies.

Why be impressed with that?  I’d suggest that the committee was impressed with that because our hearts long for the kind of world that will exist when Christ reigns.  He will say, “come let us reason together”, and when justice rules perfectly, He’s promised that we’ll melt our weapons down and turn them into tools of agriculture.  Hmmm… Christ’s reign looks like what again? Reason and dialogue, and a reduction of weapons.  No wonder people like Obama.  I’m not defending O’s political strategy, nor challenging it.  I am saying that people like reducing weapons and talking for a reason, and the reason is because God put it in their hearts to like it – we’re made for peace and dialogue.

Oh, and there’s a giant warning here too.  Humanity’s greatest failures have come whenever people have promised the fruits of the kingdom without the reign of the True King.  History has shown that there’s only One who will be able to bring this about.  Like or don’t like O’s strategy.  But don’t confuse it for the kingdom – to do so would be disastrous.

About Richard Dahlstrom

As Pastor of Bethany Community Church in Seattle, Richard teaches with vision of "making the invisible God visible" by calling people to acts of service and blessing. It's working, as a wilderness ministry, homeless shelter, and community meals that serve those living on the margins are all pieces of Bethany's life. "We're being the presence of Christ" he says, "and inviting everyone to join the adventure." Many have, making Bethany one of the fastest growing churches in America in 2009 according to Outreach Magazine.

  • http://www.welcometomarriedlife.com Krista

    Interesting…
    but I’m sad that your feed only shows up as a partial in my reader… :(

  • raincitypastor

    I’ll work with my tech assistant to fix this because here’s the truth of the matter: I have no idea what you’re talking about!! :)

  • Sherry

    That last paragraph reminds me of what I am reading in Greg Boyd’s book, Myth of a Christian Nation.

    Reminding us that we “are made for peace and dialogue” is good, I sure needed to read that! It often doesn’t seem that way when I hear the left bash the right and visa versa.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Postcall

    Great post.

    One of Tim Keller’s arguments for Christianity is that whenever we watch a movie, or read a book, where the bad guys are defeated by the good guys, and peace comes once again to the Shire, our hearts intrinsically leap for joy. Where did this joy come from? It is because we all groan for the day where peace reigns on earth, as it does in heaven. Maranatha, as you often say.

  • Jody

    Great insights. Thanks.

  • Kevin

    If we are intrinsically oriented to celebrate the victory of good over evil, what does that say about those who have lamented the Peace Prize being given to Obama? Does their response necessarily place them on the side of evil or is there some other dynamic at work. Although I don’t understand the motivation behind those who have decried the award, I don’t want to them to be denied community because the idea of this doesn’t lighten their hearts. I hope that we can find a way to incorporate both sentiments into one common understanding.

  • Sandra Boedecker

    Thanks for this great post. I really am pretty neutral when it comes to Obama – he’s neither a savior nor an antichrist, and I grow weary of the passionate tirades on both sides – but I thoroughly agree that the Nobel committee’s choice was laughable in light of the efforts of other candidates. Most of all, though, I appreciate how you’ve taken a contentious issue and used it to illustrate a biblical insight that we can all understand, agree on, and apply to our own choices.

  • Pingback: Thoughts on Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize

  • Lamont

    Speaking of the verse alone, I’ve alway’s held it to mean, that we know life is eternal. Man knows his soul will never die. I never “think” that I’m old, yet, when I look in a mirror, I’m reminded that, in this phyiscal world, I am.
    Also, I like the fact that it (to me) states “what God has done…” (paste tense) reminding me that it is a plan, not a “crap-shoot.”


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