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A Baby in the Belfry

By Ralph Douglas West | Senior Pastor, Church Without Walls, Houston, Texas.
There are many people who make predictions about many things. Nostradamus would be one of them: He predicted that in 1792, Venice, Italy, would become a world power. (Venice is still waiting.) That same year, he predicted the Catholic Church would cease to exist because of the persecution in North Africa; he was wrong once again. In 1607, he predicted all astrologers would come under persecution; he missed it again.

Jeanne Dixon made 100,000 predictions, all of which were wrong except for one: In a kind of serendipitous way, she predicted the death of John F. Kennedy;

but some suggested it was a lucky guess. Unlike these, there is a certainty in the Word of God that whatever God says will come to pass.

Charles Campbell holds the distinguished Peter Marshall's Chair of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. In November 2007, he visited Korea and toured as many sites as possible. While there, the guide took him to the base of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, pointing upward to the hill's zenith. Atop that mountain was a small chapel where the service members gathered and worshipped. Campbell was a Presbyterian preacher, and Korea was the place where Knox Presbyterians had infiltrated the land with the gospel. The largest Presbyterian churches in the world were on that particular terra firma.

Campbell wanted to see this small chapel on top of this DMZ sight. Upon arrival, his attention was drawn to the way the pulpit was designed. To the back of the congregation was South Korea, and in front of the pulpit there was only glass. The congregation and the pulpit looked out on North Korea with its missiles or trained nuclear arms ready for battle at the command of their military leader. They worshipped, hearing the Word of God in the face of nuclear threat. That

congregation listened to God's Word uninterrupted, with the possibility of war commencing at any moment.

Campbell concluded there was nothing between the Word of God and the threat, oppression, tyranny and murders in North Korea. The only thing those worshippers had in the face of national threat were the promises, certainty and power found only in God's living Word.

Isaiah 7 paints that exact parallel. Here was a small nation, Judah in the south, being oppressed in an imminent confrontation from the north. The only thing

Judah had standing between it and the northern aggressors was the Word of God and a little baby.

Unlike Nostradamus or Jeanne Dixon, in the face of all kinds of human threats we can trust the irrefutable predictions and truths in the Word of God. Enough

has happened to cause fear. Just the thought of mortgages, the New York stock exchange, melting ice and increasing oil prices can cause fear. Additionally, the

recent study released on the exponential growth of AIDS in African and American communities, the various diseases that plague nations, and the lack of safe places to live primarily because of the evil lurking in the human heart is enough to cause fear for anyone.

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