It’s not a coincidence that this article was written during KI’s 2011 Issachar Tour. This Strategic glimpse into 2012 begins with an interesting rabbinical revelation...
Early in the turn of the 20th century, rabbis began teaching the correlation of the words of the Psalms to the year (i.e., Psalm 1 would equate to 1901, Psalm 100 would equate to 2000, etc.). For those familiar with Dr. Missler’s teaching in the Book of Proverbs, this concept is similar. There are thirty-one Proverbs that correspond to a day in any given month. We perform an exercise in which we read the Proverb in the morning and then tackle the activities of our day. We then read the same Proverb at the end of the day and grasp the lesson or revelation within the Proverb that applies to that day.
Having performed this exercise daily for the last few years, I was highly intrigued to find out how the particular Psalms being referenced (Psalm 111 and Psalm 112—correlating to 2011 and 2012) in this discussion could be relevant to our strategic evaluation of 2012.
To begin, the Biblical significance of the numbers eleven and twelve deserve a closer review. According to E. W. Bullinger, the number eleven marks “disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration.” For some Biblical expositors, the number eleven represents a time of transition.
From the continued cataclysmic global financial crisis leading to the near collapse of sovereign countries to the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution leading to the Arab Spring to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami leading to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, 2011 could easily be defined as global “disintegration.”
Interestingly, Psalm 111 begins with the praise of the Lord and discusses the works of the Lord. It closes with this admonition in verse 10: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments: His praise endureth forever.”
Psalm 111 is a reminder to us to place our focus on the Lord and in what He is doing—and more specifically, what He has called each one of us to do in these perilous times defined in 2 Timothy 3.
The Elections of 2012
The transitioning from bad to worse in 2011 has caused many to question what could possibly lie ahead in 2012. Rather than the occultist and apocalyptic theories that usually accompany a conversation regarding 2012, the overwhelming significance of next year can easily be seen in the possible changes in world leadership.
Worldwide, 24 countries have scheduled elections or appointments for new political leadership. Together, these countries account for 53% of the world’s population and over 50% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). Some economic strategists are looking forward to the possibilities of change in 2012. Michael Cappello, Director of the Yale World Fellows Program made the following statement:
Global events in 2012 will herald great changes. To arrive at a comprehensive view of potential scenarios for 2012, we must look closely at various dimensions of global interaction: politics, business, health, the availability of raw materials and demographics in various regions. Each will have a major impact on economic development.
For the first time in history, four of the five countries on the United Nations Security Council have the possibility of leadership changes in the same year: China, France, Russia, and the United States. Other countries of acute interest include India, Taiwan, Egypt, Mexico, Venezuela, Iceland, Spain, Turkey, and South Korea (especially after the death of North Korea’s Kim Jong Il in December). According to Charles-Edouard Bouée, Partner and Member of the Executive Committee of Roland Berger (strategy consultants):
In normal times such a coincidence of national elections would hardly be worth mentioning; but as we are living in a time of great economic and political turbulence, the elections in 2012 will in some cases lead to changes in government that will affect the whole global economy. This may cause some instability, but could also open up new opportunities for development.
Lack of Ethical Leadership
Not all analysts are as positive regarding the possibilities of change in 2012. Bernard Ramanantsoa, Dean of Haute Ecole de Commerce (HEC) Paris recognizes the potential for immense global change. He stated:
This calls for an in-depth analysis of current developments and potential political and economic scenarios. In this way, decision makers in politics and business can thoroughly prepare themselves for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
However, “decision makers” are the ones who have precisely led the world into its current condition. The condition of Greece and the Eurozone stand as examples. Many intellectuals, economists, and academics have argued that the Eurozone crisis is not a financial crisis, but is instead a political crisis—a lack of leadership. Dr. Maria Lorca-Susino, author of The Euro in the 21st Century, sees the future of the Euro without Greece. According to Dr. Lorca-Susino:
This is not a big problem because the Treaties have already been breached many times. The “no bailout” rule has been breached; therefore, removing Greece from the Eurozone should not be a problem.
Greece stands as an example of unethical politics. Its expulsion would be a consequence of its dishonesty to the other Member States. As Dr. Lorca-Susino explains, “The cover-up by the Greek government did put the entire (Eurozone) system in jeopardy, but also limited the time for action or reaction of the other Member States in dealing with such crisis.”
Greece lied and did not report the “real” data concerning its deficit and debt. As we watch bailout after financial bailout fail to bring about the promised recovery, it is becoming increasingly clear that the “economy” has become the scapegoat for the politicians responsible for developing and maintaining their budgets.
Plodding Into 2012
As the core component of democracy, elections have become a central part of life within the western democracies and constitutional republics. With elections occurring every two to six years, change would be expected. Instead of changing the political class, however, numerous races limit government efficiency.
Career politicians have created a fear among candidates that not being re-elected by the electorate equates to “punishment.” Instead of seeing change as necessary and beneficial to the success of any given country, the careers of the political class are priority one. In times of prosperity, the majority of voters simply do not care. However, during the times of recent crisis, citizens are becoming increasingly aware of the limits of the current political systems.
The global economic outlook has surfaced a global public opinion that the “political class” is a group of “men (or women) of influence” overwhelmingly in search of power and relevance, as opposed to leadership and strong policies. Across the globe, the fear of not being re-elected has considerably affected the production of new ideas. Candidate debates and speeches have become spectacles of political rhetoric. Politicians are simply trying to survive. In some countries, the political process has been slowed down and put on autopilot.
Unfortunately, the disconnect of the ruling transatlantic political class with their citizens has the world of academia asking one question: could the Euro-Atlantic community become the next Japan? There is a certain consensus that the next decade will be a “lost decade.” If this is true, three things can be expected that will increase the discontent of the citizenry and quite possibly usher in a hope for a “world leader” with “real” answers: 1) extremely high government debts; 2) no growth affecting the rate of unemployment; and 3) high turnover of heads of state and government.
China is looking toward major leadership changes in October 2012. Having reached age limits of 67 years, the current “Fourth Generation” leaders around Hu Jintao as Party Secretary and Wen Jiabo as Premier will be moving into retirement. Five colleagues will be moving up in the Politburo Standing Committee—the summit of decision making in China.
This is the first time since Mao Zedong in which the transition of power will not be influenced by a powerful patriarchal figure. Little is known of the selection process currently in place. However, each of the available positions in the Standing Committee will be subject to some form of competition between a number of potential candidates. The outcome may not be known until October 2012.
What is known, however, is that China’s era of technocrats is coming to an end. The selection of candidates does not have the same number of engineers and technicians. Instead, the contenders are political scientists, lawyers, and people with degrees in the social sciences. They have less international experience. Of most concern within China is that this group has no military experience whatsoever. This places a vast question mark over their ability to fully control the powerful political interests of the People’s Liberation Army.
As we watch the nations rage, it is most important that we keep our eyes on what the Lord is doing. Just as the number eleven was significant in 2011, twelve is significant in 2012.
Intriguingly, twelve is a “perfect number, signifying perfection of government, or of governmental perfection. It is found as a multiple in all that has to do with rule.” Because twelve is the product of 3 (the perfectly Divine and heavenly number) and 4 (the earthly, the number of what is material and organic), twelve is considered to be the representation of God’s government upon the earth. This does not sound like the political ambiguity and chaos the world faces in the possibilities of global leadership changes in the upcoming elections and appointments. However, Psalm 112 presents a picture of a move of God among His people, raising up a righteous remnant in the face of growing darkness. Psalm 112:
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth forever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved forever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor: his righteousness endureth forever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish. [Emphasis mine]
Thus are the marching orders of the Kingdom as we walk through 2012 and await the coming of our King.