07 May 2011

Responding to Current Events

I turned on the television news station early on Monday morning in time to watch a video clip of groups of people celebrating the killing of “America’s Most Wanted”. I kind of understand the excitement in the victory they considered this to be, but I have to say, I felt very sad. Each person, including our worst enemy, is a work of the Lord’s hand and as fearfully and carefully made as you and I, regardless of the despicable acts of hatred and evil they inflicted on countless lives. Every man and woman is beloved by God, even if s/he worships and serves another. I saw the news; I know what happened on 9/11; and the war that followed. Many people died; many more who survived will never be the same. Many feel justice was served. But at the end of the day, a life precious to the Lord went on to eternity, maybe, probably, we assume, but only the Lord knows, to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth that Jesus warned about. That is a reason to be sad, not for celebration. Maybe the Lord is the only weeping.

Some were shouting, “USA! USA! USA!” while others were singing, “God Bless America”. I thought, why would God bless such a show of hatred, the exact motivation that this one was hated for? During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the crowds, “… I say love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you. In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in Heaven..” (Matthew 5:44-45). And, “But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:15). The gospel of Luke sums it up for us: “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6:35-36) These verses make it clear that a blessing is not coming if there is hatred in the heart. Read what the Apostle Paul wrote: “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say ,“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

The request for a blessing is coming from a generation who limits God to specific buildings during a few hours on Sunday mornings. They don’t want His presence in government, in schools, in public buildings. They don’t want to hear about Him on the TV or radio and are working to have Him banned from various form of media. Pretty much, this county who was once under God gave Him limits. The One who told the oceans, “you can only go so far”, has been given boundaries. They are saying, “We want blessings, but we don’t want you”.

The cart has broken loose and is speeding down hill, out of control, set to crash. Whether the majority believes it or not, the fact remains that God has made His throne in the Heavens, and from there he rules everything. (Psalm 103:19). He always has, and always will. “This is what the Lord says: ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Could you build me a temple as good as that? Could you build me such a resting place? My hands have made both heaven and earth; they and everything in them are mine. I, the Lord, have spoken! “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at my word.” (Isaiah 66:1,2) To those who ignore Him He says, “I will send them great trouble—all the things they feared. For when I called, they did not answer. When I spoke, they did not listen. They deliberately sinned before my very eyes and chose to do what they know I despise’.” (Isaiah 66:4)

Our situation may sound hopeless, but it isn’t. Here is what The Lord told Solomon: “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). We can turn around. We can ask for the blessing of Grace. We, as a nation, can go to Him to confess our guilt and ask Him for forgiveness. He will hear our earnest, honest prayers. He will forgive us.

O God, have mercy on us. O God, forgive us. O God, extend to us your grace, and give us your peace. O God, please bless America again.

No comments:

Post a Comment