We often will make a statement like this “I’ve reached a point” and we do so to state things have gone far enough. Well, as I sit today and consider what is happening in our country I am saying “we already reached that point and we are rapidly plunging into the abyss”. An abyss is an immeasurably deep gulf or great space, intellectual or moral depths, the bottomless gulf, pit, or chaos of the old cosmogonies. Cosmogonies is a theory of the origin of the universe, the creation or origin of the world or universe.
I recognize this is an awful lot for just the first paragraph. However, in order to consider this thought today, I have had to ponder a lot of things. I hope you got that play on words? A thought to ponder.
OK, moving on, we have lost all sense of right and wrong. We see it in government, churches, society, families everywhere people can come together as a unit. We are also losing the opportunity to hold people accountable for their actions. What we see today is often painting all people of a race, religion, social and even ethnic groups as all the same. Let me make this perfectly clear that cannot and will never be able to be done. Each person is responsible for their own actions. The actions of a person who is representative of a group does not and cannot define that group. It is impossible regardless of what some might like you to believe.
Words are becoming more and more difficult to understand. That is not because of the word but rather because of the manner in which it is being used and thus redefined. The Merriman-Webster Dictionary defines racism as-a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. So with the definition of the word then if a person does not believe that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capabilities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race, then by definition they are not and cannot be a racist. Just because it is said does not make it true.
Words mean something and they mean what they mean and not what some one says or thinks they should mean. In his “I have a dream speech”, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” His dream was for those children and for all that would follow. As you read that speech today, it is clear that his dream was one he deeply believed in and was committed toward.
It is so unfortunate that almost 58 years later with all of the progress which has been made in our country that there are those today that are forcing our country back into a time which is past. Instead of moving forward and continuing to gain momentum and success, they slam the brakes of progress to again make race an issue.
As I read God’s Word each day, I never find a place where race was the issue. It is always about the individual and their actions. Certainly you will see that the people of God were affected by the actions of one. Early on, in their entrance into the Promised Land, Achan took things from Jericho. This disobedient action caused the defeat at Ai and the loss of men in the battle. I would encourage you to read the accounting found in Joshua 6 and 7. As a matter of fact, let me encourage you to “Journey through the Bible” each day. Read 4 chapters of Scripture every day and in a year you will have journeyed through the Bible. Then start again, it will be a blessing, an encouragement and you will see more about our God and how He works.
To put this in perspective, this is exactly where we are today. A price is being paid in every situation by groups of people because of the actions of sometimes just one person. People are smart enough to see this for what it is, manipulating a situation to effect a desired outcome. There are those and I might add a sizable MINORITY who are getting way to much attention. Promoting an agenda that is harmful to us all.
So you might ask, Pastor what do we do? Earlier today I was reading in 2 Chronicles 7 and came to that often quoted and used text. You know the one about how when things get bad “if my people...”, now pause for a moment and pay attention.
When these words are recorded, they are from God Himself. Solomon had completed and dedicated the Temple to God. Offerings had been made and both Solomon and the people are focused.
God makes a very important statement to Solomon. “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.” 2 Chronicles 7:13 NLT
The first thing we need to understand is that God is speaking directly to Solomon and Israel. We read Scripture and we learn from it and that is exactly what God expects us to do. So when we continue to read and we pull a portion of this text out and use it today is that wrong? It is not wrong, however we must keep it in the context of what God does and why.
We always presume that when things don’t go our way that it is God punishing us. That may well be the case but not necessarily all the time. As you read the text, God said “At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.” There is no reason given for it simply that there might be a time.
This is where it gets really interesting because we don’t really know why. So God told them and is telling us to stop and consider why things are the way they are. You see the wording God gives expresses that there may or not be something they have done but if there is, it can be dealt with accordingly.
“...if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14-15 NLT
God says to be humble and pray and seek His face and turn from your wicked ways. Listen, this is a formula for repentance and blessing for all of us. As a believer, it is imperative that we daily be in a spirit of humility girded in prayer and ever aware of our actions.
A thought to ponder,