He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide disputes for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever. — Micah 4:3-5, ESV (and Isaiah 2:1-5).
I do not have all the answers about the future. But this I know, we are headed in the direction that the verse portrayed. Biblical prophecies must take place. All that was said will come to pass. On this, along with my current limited observations, I base my argument.
There will come a time in the future when all the world will recognise God as king. It’ll be a time of global peace when the sovereignty of God is recognised. People from all corners of the earth, will gather together and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths” (Isaiah 2:3, ESV).
I believe it’ll be quite some time before this prophecy is realised. But when the history of the world start to progress towards this, the sequence of events that will eventually lead to this will happen pretty quickly. I would picture a charismatic leader, conversant in social sciences, breaking down historical, cultural, and religious barriers, opening the people to a Truth that is beyond their imagination. This Truth is the theory of everything, that is: “Christ is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17, ESV).
I’m not going to jump into who will it be or what must take place before this happens. I think we can all agree that given the development of modern civilisation, the spread of information, and the advent of big picture education, it’ll not take very long for someone to master the skills and knowledge required for this task. So let’s put this aside and consider something more important — the political environment required for this prophecy to take place.
Diving into the texts, we see the Word of God taking centre stage in the entire development of a global polity. But given the diversity of the world that we live in, someone who is conversant with God’s Heart and Will must take the lead in incorporating the Law into global policies. It’ll be done in a way that is subtle, yet confrontational. It’ll be downright biblical, yet acceptable. People will recognise that the Law is from Zion and from Jerusalem. With this Law, the global polity will judge the nations.
“Beating their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks” sounds like a labour’s movement. But on another hand, it sounds like the collapse of a political and ideological structure all together. Consider what prophet Isaiah wrote in the next line: there will be a period in history that is without war. The termination of war and conflicts are a direct result of the labour’s movement, where the rights and needs of all classes are taken care of. Hence, peace as what is written, will come in the form of an ideological shift. People will no longer work for their individual needs but for the common good. This doesn’t mean that the world will adopt nationalism, though. Rather, we are looking at the global collective. An example of such initiative that I’m looking at is the Green New Deal (you may read more here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/05/this-is-what-a-green-new-deal-for-europe-could-look-like/).
I won’t jump the gun and conclude that this is the thing that will jumpstart the much anticipated global peace. But it sure looks eerily plausible.
Another point worth noting is the socialist nature of the political environment in the end days. Consider the reason behind Isaiah’s vision when he wrote, “Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land” (Isaiah 5:8, ESV). Is this the complete collapse of the capitalist system? After all, the Lord did say that “In that day, He will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away and those whom He had afflicted; and the lame He will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion from this time forth and forevermore” (Micah 4:6-7, ESV). Given the current outlook of modernity, will the lame and the exiles ever become a strong nation? Consider also how God proclaims that the wicked “shall devote their gain to the LORD, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth” (Micah 4:13, ESV). Will the rich ever let go of their wealth unless a change of political system takes place? Will the current economic structure overturn in a single day unless a miraculous turn of events driven by a global leader takes place?
I’ve written a lot about the world but I’ve never quite touched Singapore’s role in all of these. Sure, Singapore isn’t socialist. Sure, Singapore is not a one-religion nation that was reflected in the passage. But what if I told you that Singapore, under the leadership of the late Mr Lee, kickstarted the whole political structure required for global domination. It has a structure that is capitalist, though not completely capitalist. Socialist, though not completely socialist. Welfare is given to all regardless of social classes. The needs of the needy are cared for (though this can be better managed). International ties are good, and we have a pretty strong military and economic background. In fact, we are so good that Mr Deng (the then senior vice premier of the Chinese Communist Party) came to Singapore to “learn from Singapore” (you may read more here: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1746072/how-lee-kwan-yew-crafted-singapore-role-model-china).
Consider oncoming global trends in the next few years alongside biblical prophecies, the world, as we know it, appear to be moving towards accepting socialism (ref: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/06/socialism-used-to-be-a-dirty-word-is-america-now-ready-to-embrace-the-ideology). In fact, a quick analysis on Google trends over the past 5 years will tell us that “socialism” is picking up global interests (and this is more notable in capitalist states).
Sure, this does not tell us that this is the definite reason that the world will move towards this trend. Rather, through analysis like these, we can argue that the acceptance towards socialism is increasing. With this heightened acceptance comes the gradual realisation of such political ideology.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t stand in support of socialism, neither do I stand in support of capitalism as well. I, however, stand in support of the Word of God and what it tells me must happen. The knowledge that a charismatic leader will one day unite global politics and point them to the One True God excites me. However, as we’ve studied the Bible, we know it’s not going to be a lasting global power.
In fact, even though people will recognise that they’re ruled by God, idolatry will still happen. As it was written, “For all the peoples walk each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever” (Micah 4:5, ESV), so will people still practice idol worship. I’m picturing a united, yet multi-cultural global power here. United in direction, law, economy, and the pursuit for the common good. But that’s that.
Such is a nation like Singapore. We are a nation with foresight. Whether intentional or not, our policies are geared towards the fulfilment of biblical prophecies. To put it bluntly, people may consider that we indirectly headed the Chinese’ socialist movement even though we did not. Though we are little, we are a global super power. We are one of the Four Asian Tigers for a reason. We are a role model for the world when it comes to sustainability in welfare (read more here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johngoodman/2015/03/31/singapore-a-fascinating-alternative-to-the-welfare-state/).
In a sense, the government “sat everyone under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid” (Micah 4:4, ESV). Commendable policies ensures affordable housing and appropriate work and education opportunities for all. A city state that once saw many racial and labour riots now no longer have the need for riot. We do not need to learn much about warfare, anymore. At least, internally.
Sure, no matter how good we are, we are still a nation surrounded by other nations with differing ideological standpoints. That said, the need for an updated and technological advance defence force is still a priority. But not for long.
Singapore plays a very big part on the world stage. We’ve outperformed many big countries in governance, investments, GDP, and the like. (Read more here: https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/is-singapore-a-small-country). Given our global partnerships, we’ve also played a big part in shaping global ideologies. Sure, we are but a little red dot, but we are a mighty nation; we are powerful in our own right. As it was written, “The least one shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the LORD; in its time I will hasten it” (Isaiah 60:22, ESV).
We must remain humble, though. As what the then Ambassador-at-large Mr Tommy Koh mentioned in the Straits Times, “We must never become proud and arrogant… we should be respectful but not submissive”.
All of these are the doings of God. And we must recognise that. Given such a privilege to be part of the fulfilment of end-times prophecy, we must not be complacent in our doings. As citizens, we must stand firm to our national interests, guard it with all our hearts, continually pray for our leaders, and support them as we progress together into the future.
Image from Pixabay.
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