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Giving the trumpet a certain sound

November 2006

Nuclear North Korea

Time magazine reported on the October 9 test of an atomic device by North Korea:

Welcome to the bad new world. As crude as the North Korean blast was, it punctuated a scary fact: the rules that governed the nuclear road during the cold war and its immediate aftermath have become irrelevant, replaced by the law of the jungle — every state, rogue or otherwise, for itself. The risk now, says former Clinton Administration Defense Department official Graham Allison, is the emergence of a more dangerous nuclear age. Pyongyang’s test, says Allison, threatens to set off a “cascade” of nations seeking the ultimate weapon. (“When Outlaws Get The Bomb,” time.com, Oct. 15, 2006)

At the time of this writing, the Washington Post was reporting that despite the adoption of sanctions by the United Nations, there were indications that the North Koreans were preparing for another test.

Nevertheless, U.S. spy satellites reportedly have detected unusual activity involving vehicles and people around a couple of suspected North Korean nuclear test sites, and the White House said it would not be surprised if Pyongyang flouted international warnings not to detonate another device. (“N. Korea Says U.N. Sanctions Are ‘Declaration of War’, washingtonpost.com, Oct. 17, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

It seems likely that fear and perplexity will rise as the number of nations with nuclear weapons rises.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Luke 21:25, 26

As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man shall be revealed. The Lord is removing His restrictions from the earth, and soon there will be death and destruction, increasing crime, and cruel, evil working against the rich who have exalted themselves against the poor. Those who are without God’s protection will find no safety in any place or position. Human agents are being trained and are using their inventive power to put in operation the most powerful machinery to wound and to kill. (Testimonies, v. 8 p. 49)

Iraq Violence Flares

The top US General commented recently on the situation in Iraq:

Violence in the Baghdad region has peaked with a flare-up of sectarian attacks in the past few weeks, leaving U.S. commanders and the Iraqi government “not comfortable” with the current situation there, Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. general in Iraq, said yesterday.

Casey, in Washington for regular meetings with top U.S. officials, said at a Pentagon news conference that Iraq is a “tough situation” and that he expects it to continue to be difficult through Ramadan and in coming months, as Sunni and Shiite extremists vie for control of that nation's capital. ...

The general tempered his assessment of the Baghdad area by saying that progress exists in Iraq alongside the attention-grabbing violence. Much of the country is relatively peaceful, Casey said, and U.S. goals for the development of Iraqi security forces are on track. (“‘Tough’ Time in Iraq to Continue, Casey Says,” washingtonpost.com, Oct. 12, 2006)

On the current violence level:

The escalating violence in the Tigris River towns in many ways serves as a microcosm of the daily violence roiling Iraq. Sectarian attacks have increased more than tenfold since the start of the year and now claim more than 100 victims a day, according to the Iraqi government. (“Families Flee Iraqi River Towns On 4th Day of Sectarian Warfare,” washingtonpost.com, Oct. 17, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

It seems we read of “wars and rumors of wars” with increasing frequency.

The conditions prevailing in society, and especially in the great cities of the nations, proclaim in thunder tones that the hour of God’s judgment is come and that the end of all things earthly is at hand. We are standing on the threshold of the crisis of the ages. In quick succession the judgments of God will follow one another—fire, and flood, and earthquake, with war and bloodshed. We are not to be surprised at this time by events both great and decisive; for the angel of mercy cannot remain much longer to shelter the impenitent. (Prophets and Kings, p. 278).

Epigenetics – Chemicals and Disease

As industrial nations develop greater numbers of industrial chemicals, it seems the process has dangers in addition to proclaimed benefits:

New evidence is flooding in to suggest that many industrial chemicals are more dangerous than previously understood. During the 1990s, it came as a surprise that many industrial chemicals can interfere with the hormone systems of many species, including humans. ...

Now new evidence is piling up to show that some of these hormone-related changes can be passed from one generation to the next by a mechanism that remains poorly understood, called epigenetics.

Until very recently scientists had thought that inherited traits always involved genetic mutations — physical changes in the sequence of nucleotides that make up the DNA molecule itself. Now they know that there is a “second genetic code” that somehow influences the way genes operate, and that by some poorly-understood mechanism can be passed along to successive generations.

Medical scientists hope to take advantage of the new science of epigenetics to manipulate the behavior of genes for beneficial purposes. But the dark side of this new understanding is that stress, smoking, and pollution can cause epigenetic changes — including many serious diseases like cancer and kidney disease — that apparently can be passed along to one's children and even grandchildren. ... (“Some Chemicals Are More Harmful than Anyone Ever Suspected,” Rachel’s Democracy & Health News #876, Oct. 12, 2006)

Inspired Commentary

We understand from the Bible that the general trend of human longevity from creation to the present is downward. The final cure for this negative process will be the second coming of Christ.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:22, 23

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Phil. 3:20, 21

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

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