It’s been a couple of days since the tragic shooting in Las Vegas. Enough time for much speculation, pontification and “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve’s” from political pontiffs, bantoring broadcasters and liberal lobbyists as well as foolish “Fundamentalists.” Everyone has the answer after the fact, but what about before?! The suggestions range anywhere from taking guns away from every “honest” citizen to arming every “honest” citizen. In the wake of fear and trepidation of a horrific event, people tend to panic into error. Mob mentality takes over and decisions by otherwise reasonable persons are, well, unreasonable. So whats the answer? The answer is to remain fervent in prayer and urgent in soul winning, especially for the Christian.
A few years ago in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, a man massacred several Amish female students in a one room school. Despite attempts from the media to stir ire from the Amish community against the outrage, one of the grandfathers of one of the students who was brutally murdered was asked what he thought. He said that there is evil in the world and he (the murderer) made a bad decision. That response has never left me. I’ve ruminated on that insight for years. His response was based on faith and Love – God’s love. The Amish community reached out to the wife and family of the murderer and loved, comforted and received them.
I heard that there were lines to give blood for the Las Vegas shooting victims five hours long. Folks, that’s how we are to combat tyranny, terrorism and tragedy – Love. I read the back of the book. I know how it all ends, and there are still more upsets to come. How then shall we live? Micah 6:8.
I’ve been pondering hurricane Irma for a few days now. Just like many, I’ve been watching and praying she would go away as she has stubbornly developed into a category 5 (presently) storm. Obviously my prayer is that Irma would dissipate, disintegrate, and dissolve. As the various news outlets forecast their version of “spaghetti model” routes, I focus on the one that takes Irma northeast back out to the Atlantic. But that ever present “cone of uncertainty” distracts my view.
It is the word “uncertainty” that sends chills up and down one’s spine whether it pertains to a category 5 hurricane or stage 4 cancer. The “unknown” as I refer to it, is what one is afraid of losing or not gaining. I’ve been fascinated by the reaction in Florida to Irma as preparations for her arrival are well underway (including our own). I’ve seen many storms and several hurricanes in and throughout Florida. Why is Irma, while still some 3-4 days out from potential landfall in florida, different? My opinion, one word, Harvey.
Harvey is still fresh on everyone’s hearts and minds as “Houston” begins to assess the damages of that devastating hurricane. Those images, I dare say, are what folks here in florida see when the name Irma is mentioned. As well it should be. Reasonable warnings are from wisdom and wise people consider them. Panic is not the answer of course, and whereas fear stimulates panic preparation satisfies fear. Are you ready?
For me, the warnings of the most devastating and catastrophic event ever has been and is often ignored by many. It’s not a hurricane. It’s not an earthquake. It’s not a flood, although these and other meteorological and geological occurrences will be present. The event of which I speak is the coming of the Lord.
Belief is the key. For those who are taking Irma seriously, many are doing so because they have become believers of the storm’s “potential” dangers in light of what Harvey’s “real” devastation was/is. Regarding the Lord’s coming, it is a matter of belief as well. The big difference is the last measurable historical event(s) to remind us of the Lord’s coming was 2000 years ago when Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, raised and ascended to heaven. The reality of its true impact has been cushioned by time. Consider yourself warned. The question is, “Are you ready?”
Social media is not a new concept. One of social media’s most notable violations is referred to in Scripture recorded as the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)
When our children were younger (way before cell phones and internet etc.), don’t know who said it first, but I used to tell them, “If lips would keep from slips, five things must be observed: of whom you speak, to whom you speak, how, when and where.” When I was a child (still chipping and carving stone as a form of social media) my dad was not so Politically correct, but meant well when he would say, “David, the whole world knows you’re stupid, open your mouth and confirm it.” Politically correct or not, it is sourced in a biblical passage found in Proverbs 17:28.
More to the point of social media and the dangers therein is the passage of Scripture that says, “In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking . . .” The dangers of misusing social media are exponential when you add pics. Social media in and of itself is not the culprit, its the over exposure of personal information. I don’t have to tell you the trouble associated with the various, nefarious uses of social media, especially by the unsuspecting, uninitiated and over confident.
Another dangerous contributing factor of social media is the immediate nature of posting information. Tweeting, texting, “snapchatting,” “Facetiming,” “Facebooking,” etc., even honest researching can lead to a quagmire of convoluted allegations, accusations and general aggravation. Whether by phone, iPad, computer wrist watch etc. the risks are the same. Social media is just too convenient an instrument for the enemy (Satan) not to use. And I won’t even get into being tracked, monitored, tagged and targeted.
There used to be a rule that one should wait 24 hours before sending a communication. That’s still a good rule. Also remember what one man has rightly said, “I’ve never had to apologize for something I never said.” And no, I haven’t arrived yet. Im preaching to myself more than anyone else. Please be careful.
“In the days when the judges ruled” is a specific period of time in Jewish history. It was the time period that followed the leadership of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the prophet and priest of the Exodus, Moses and Aaron, respectively, as well as the successor of Moses, Joshua. “In the days when the Judges ruled” also preceded the kings of Israel namely Saul, David and Solomon. It was a special period of transition for God’s children. As a matter of biblical record the time of the Judges was a roller coaster ride of rebellion for Israel. By the account of many scholars the ride went something like this: sin before God, suffering at the hand of God, supplication in prayer to God, and then salvation by the mercy of God from further disciplinary action. An important factor during this period of time is that it was the period of time when the story of Ruth occurred.
Whether kings or presidents, judges or dictators, every nation has had rulers. There will always be a form of government inclusive of national, state and local jurisdictions. However, what kind of government for or of the people ultimately depends on God and that in direct relationship to the obedience of His people. It has been said, “As the leadership goes so goes the people, or nation, but first, as the nation is, so becomes its leadership.”
Though ultimately God is the King of every believer, Scripture says that every believer is to submit to the governing authorities (Romans 13). Furthermore, the believer is to pray for the leadership of such governing bodies. The child of God is not to focus on the human leadership of any given nation’s government, but to focus on God and His leadership to influence any given nation’s governing authorities. The only answer to economic, social, medical, educational, and religious reform(s) is Jesus Christ. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords!
It has been said that every nation that has fallen has fallen from within. The statement underscores the potential self-destruction of any nation governed by leadership choosing not to rely on God.