Truth Matters: The Antics of Nations

By Ken Askew

“All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.  To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him?” — ESV Isaiah 40:17-28

The United States, in addition to being engaged in two serious wars, is engaged in joint war games this week off the coast of South Korea in a show of force meant to impress North Korea and to deter North Korean aggression.   It is a display of military power and strength — a bit of posturing and muscle flexing if you will.  For its part, North Korea does a good deal of posturing on an ongoing basis — most recently by sinking a South Korean ship.

India and Pakistan regularly fire warning shots at each other, literally and figuratively, over a spot of land known as Kashmir.  This posturing and muscle flexing has gone on since the late forties.

I would be remiss in any discussion of the antics of nations to omit the long history of defiance and bravado from Fidel Castro in Cuba or the arrogant voice of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.  Time and space require that I omit the Middle East and eastern Europe.

The antics of nations are endless it seems.

Yet for all their brashness, for all their fearsome muscle flexing and posturing, nations and the antics of nations amount to nothing when compared to God.  Isaiah says that nations are “less than nothing” in contrast to God.  Now, I don’t know about you, but “less than nothing” ranks high on the scale of insignificance in my mind.

Are the wars we fight important?  Sure.  Men and women die for their nations.  Is deterrence by show of force important?  Absolutely.  Should leaders be confident?  Yes.  My purpose is not to pass judgment in these examples but to emphasize their relative insignificance before God.

God is big.  He’s bigger than any war this nation has ever waged.  He’s bigger than any personal battle raging within you.  God is bigger than any challenge you can possibly be facing today.  God is big.  Let your mind wander a moment.  Go ahead, think of the grandest display of power, might and magnificence that you can–God is bigger.  God is bigger than life.

I’m taken aback at how little we think of God and of how small we make him.  As a nation it is obvious we don’t maintain a reverent fear of God and that, in and of itself, is a fearful thing.   Individually, too often our confidence is in the antics of nations instead of God.  We’d do well to grasp hold of the truth that even nations are “nothing before him” and place our confidence in he who is beyond comparison; the most high God, creator of heaven and earth.

Ken worships at Tharptown Baptist Church in Russellville.  Truth Matters articles are available online at  Comments are welcome and may be sent to