By Dr. Douglas F. Levesque
Factor Three – Location
How does the sun set in your country? What is your national pastime? How is the maritime trade going? The answer to these questions depends upon the precise placement of your homeland on the sphere of this earth. The latitude and longitude of your borders will be a determining factor in its prosperity or its troubles. An equatorial country is at all times closer to the sun, therefore warmer than other locations, giving way to tropical manners and custom. A nation in equatorial Africa is by placement doomed to the constant threat of jungle disease, while Greenlanders simply worry about frostbite. On the other hand, the African may, due to the climate, run about without a shirt and survive, while the Greenlander must wear several layers to survive. This location factor then must be examined, exploited, and complied with in order to insure a national success.
Poland has had the unfortunate location of being between Russia and Germany. This difficult location means it does not have many national barriers as the landscape is very flat. The agricultural valleys are quite productive, another location factor, and its sea coast offers some great ports. All of these factors together make it an appetizing prospect for both Germany and Russia, who in turn worry about each other’s countries exploiting of these vulnerable borders. Canada, on the other hand, is the beneficiary of a very good location. It is surrounded by three oceans, borders the United States, has access to the Australian and Asian ports, as well as the British and European ports. Canada is beautiful, diverse, prosperous and peaceful.
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.” Psalm 48:1-2
There may be little that national leaders can do to change their location, but the location factor remains a giant in the path of their national prosperity. Leaders should:
a. Have a firm grasp on the pros and cons of their global position. Understand fully the failures and successes of other nations that share similar locations or have had their similar latitude or longitude.
b. Exploit strengths by turning them into national profit. This should only be done to the benefit of the populace.
c. Ally with other nations that can make up for your location weaknesses. (i.e. If no seaport, water source, etc.)
If location predisposes the nation to neighborly conflict then a clear delineation of actions due to location should be determined. Military alliance may become absolutely necessary. (i.e. The U.S. needs air bases in England, Italy, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia to project power.)
The narrow boot of land comprising Italy, home to the Roman Empire, could not sustain the populace or even the many legions. Therefore, even Rome had to allow grand shipments of food as tribute from far away countries and so paid handsomely for what was loosely in their hands. Consider Elisha’s observance of the good “situation” or placement of Jericho as well as its lack of a good water source. Such “situation” was of divine origin and such problems (i.e. bad water) required divine help to overcome. (II Kings 2:19-22)