If you fear the Lord, serving him and obeying him and not rebelling against what he says, and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the Lord your God, all will be well. But if you don’t obey the Lord and rebel against what the Lord says, the hand of the Lord will be against both you and your king.1 Samuel 12:14-15 NET, bold mine
… [F]ear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. Just look at the great things he has done for you! But if you continue to do evil, both you and your king will be swept away.1 Samuel 12:24-25 NET
This seems appropriate for today…
And please, vote!
Have you ever wanted God to smite someone? After reading the news every morning, I desperately want to ask God to express some holy wrath. Even better, He could delegate it to me! I think the world would benefit from some carefully targeted smiting, and I know just who to aim at.
Too bad God doesn’t agree with me.
What has caught your attention in the last few months? Is it the pandemic—deciding if you should visit with friends, go to church, or even to the market? Is it your finances? Perhaps your income is jeopardized, and you’re worried about paying your bills. Is it politics? With the election drawing closer, everyone has an opinion, especially the news media. Or maybe you’re focused on the violence taking over our cities, the claims of white privilege and racism, and the threat of social assassination.
I admit spending an inordinate amount of time pondering all these issues. Too much time. If I’ve spent any time at all focused on God, it’s been on a personal level—introspection, prayers for health and safety for me and my friends and family, thanking God that I don’t need to worry because He is still in charge.
In my most recent post, I explained that the root of the turmoil behind the headlines isn’t about politics, the environment, morality, or social justice, but rather spiritual. Why are people so out of control? Why are they so filled with hate? If racism, white privilege, police brutality, or President Trump are to blame, why are minority businesses being looted? Why did Black Lives Matter run Seattle’s first black police chief out of office? From a purely secular viewpoint, nothing makes sense—unless you consider that Satan is behind it all.
When I look at what’s happening across the country, I see a common theme that for the most part has remained unnamed. The current news reports—of demonstrations, restrictions on free speech, increasing numbers of murders and other crimes, hate-filled rhetoric, accusations and “cancellations”—highlight symptoms of a far larger issue. Ultimately, it’s not about politics, or the environment, or even morality and social justice. The root of it all is spiritual.
Cancel Culture is big in the news this morning, as a number of liberal celebrities have signed onto a letter calling for an end to it. Of course, as soon as Harper’s published the letter, others started attacking it, which leaves us with people attempting to cancel a letter urging us to cancel cancel culture.
It’s in the news, and plastered all over social media. Everywhere you turn, the focus is on race. With a few unfortunate exceptions, people want to be part of the solution, but what exactly does that mean?
I’ve read numerous articles outlining how I, as a person of western European (and Jewish) descent, am supposed to respond. Most stress writing my politicians, speaking out on social media, and perhaps joining a demonstration. To me, that means a lot of talk, but not much productive action. I don’t want to just talk about racism, I want to do something that makes an actual difference for those who deal with it on a sometimes daily basis. In that light, I’ve come up with a few suggestions.
I haven’t written lately. Partly this is because I had nothing I felt compelled to say, and partly it’s because, as you are quite aware if you follow the news and/or social media, I worried that anything I did say could and would be used against me. After all, business leaders and other public figures are stepping down or being fired at an alarming rate for even the most minor “transgressions.”* Then, this morning I finally realized that I do have something to contribute to the conversation—something worth the possible repercussions. It’s time to post my two cents’ worth.