Today, Viet Nam celebrates her 40th year of reunification- the day that South Vietnam fell under the Northern regime and re-uniting the country under one communist rule after 21 years of separation.
I believe this 40-year milestone as a re-united nation is significant for Viet Nam from a spiritual perspective.
Learning from Israel
Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness after being released from Egyptian slavery. That Israel led by Moses could have entered the Promised Land much sooner but due to their stiff-necked and disobedience, God withheld that from happening.
Before, that’s how I saw it. I interpreted how God was using that period of time in the wilderness to discipline the Israelites and in a sense punishing them for their disobedience. Although this is somewhat true, but I discovered later that what I saw was just a glimpse of who God is and His intentions.
Looking at this episode with New Testament lens, I discovered how God’s love and grace was in abundance towards the Israelites. I saw God’s real intention for withholding the Promised Land from the Moses-generation Israelites was because He was protecting them from total annihilation.
God knew that the enemies that were residing on the Promised Land would have easily defeated the Israelites if He had led them to cross over. Those Israelites then were not ready to do battle with external enemies as they were battling with their inner enemies.
Hence, it is truly grace that kept them from entering the Promised Land.
God’s grace for Viet Nam
Similarly, God loves Viet Nam and His grace has protected and guided this nation this past 40 years in spite of her disobedience and weaknesses.
Although Viet Nam has flourished materially, but instead of improving lives the reverse is more true with other social issues such as divorces, youth delinquency, vices and etc… arising as quick to destroy its society and social fabric.
Interestingly, Israel then even in the wilderness was also materially better off. They left Egypt with their gold and silver loot surrendered by the Egyptians. However sadly, this resulted to idolatry, self-gratification and self-vanity of misplacing their confidence and trust on their own efforts.
Likewise, the past 40 years of reunification for Viet Nam has been a journey of ‘wilderness’ and battling of their inner enemies of finding their identity as a unified country and people.
Without identity, one can never truly grow and achieve significance. At best, drift along and achieve mere survival. Because one’s vision, purpose, values and confidence stem from one’s identity. And discovering one identity ultimately leads one to know God as the Creator and Source.
Hence, the past 40 years for Viet Nam has been a bumpy ride of finding her identity towards her journey with God. All these trials, necessary in preparation for the ‘crossing over’.
The future for Viet Nam
Like Israel, with their new found freedom, the Moses-generation or pioneering generation of Viet Nam carried many emotional and spiritual ‘baggages’ that had prevented them to truly know God and follow Him towards progressing as a nation.
However, His love and promises to this nation remain unchanged!
In His great grand scheme of things, God has prepared and is raising up a new generation of believers with the ‘Joshua’ mantle and mettle to lead His people to truly know God and follow Him.
The future of this nation now hinges on this Joshua-generation of Viet Nam to cross over into the ‘Promised Land’ and lead the progress of this country into her destiny.
And to see this happening, we need to forget (but learn the lessons from) the past and focus on investing in this Joshua-generation for the ‘Promised’ future!
Today, I’m excited for what lies ahead for Viet Nam. And I’m believing that the next 40 years will be a glorious one with Viet Nam saved, transformed and prosperous for His glory. Will you believe with me?
If you do, please pray with me and together let’s reach to love and disciple the Joshua-generation around you!