“For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” – Matt 7:13
The Associated Press is reporting that Kim Jong Il is Dead.
I remember a few years back when Timothy McVeigh was executed. I remember how it affected me. I prayed a lot that day. I prayed for McVeigh. Regardless of his crimes, his evils, his intent to destroy the innocent. Regardless of all of that, a man, created in the image of God, was about to enter eternity without hope. He was about to step across the threshold into judgment – without the Lord’s forgiveness. This is a terrible and awful thing. I prayed a lot that day. I was saddened when I heard that his last words were defiant and vindictive. I had hoped for a “Jude 23” moment of snatching out of the fire. A “death bed conversion” if you will. Not so.
Kim Jong Il is dead. The man who is responsible for the torture and oppression and evils and horrors of North Korea … has now gone on to meet his own judge. I celebrate for the North Koreans. The day of there deliverance is closer … perhaps even close-at-hand. But for Kim Jong Il I am sad. Here is a man, created in the image of God, who mercilessly oppressed his own people. He could have loved them. He could have freed them. He could have given them hope and purpose and life. Instead he oppressed, seeking only to glorify and magnify himself.
Death is the way of all flesh though, and Kim Jong Il was not immune. The oppression and cruelty you undertake in this life only brings any benefit to you in this life alone (if that) – in the next it is horror.
My hope tonight is that the North Korean people will be free, and in the not-to-distant future.
A prediction: Kim Jong Un (Kim Jong Il’s son and supposed successor) will not last a year … maybe not even six months. On 18 December 2011, I conjecture this. We’ll check back on 18 June 2012 and again on 18 December 2012 to see where things stand.
Another conjecture. I hear the punditry at this very hour declaring that China has a vested interest in keeping North Korea propped up and will not let them fall. The cold, harsh reality is that China is heading toward a serious economic crash – a “hard landing” is what they’re calling it. There will be no will in the midst of this to keep the DPRK going. China won’t make North Korea a priority. They have their own problems to worry about.
A final conjecture … and this one is mean. Despite all the pressures faced by North Korea. Despite all the clear indications that collapse is eminent and the people will soon be free. Despite all of the hope we pour into this – Jimmy Carter will work tirelessly to keep the oppressive regime propped up.