Passion! A genuine, down to the bone, love for our country, its people and the way of life we have worked to establish; it’s missing. I just finished reading, At the Edge of the Precipice, about Henry Clay and the Great Compromise. Our congressmen had passion back then; and that passion, primarily of three individuals, swayed the whole nation.
It was 10 years before the Civil War, and though the tensions that would eventually lead to war were in full swell, the additional tension in 1850 was the threat of a split nation. Daniel Webster, one of the three individuals, “spoke with a conviction that moved both his colleagues and the entire country”. John C. Calhoun, another one of the three, though he would die before the month was ended, “rose from his sickbed and entered the chamber to hear what his colleague had to say”. It was packed.
Henry Clay was the third individual and the one who was actually referred to as “the Great Compromiser”. His passion and energy was centered on preserving our divided union. It is the reason we are still the United States. At times when he would address his colleagues, “half the house would be in tears”.
Our government is running amuck. Where is this missing element of passion from our elected officials? They should be raising hell. Instead . . . they are raising funds. Our senator, Roy Blunt is chief in this; but he is not alone.
After Samson told Delilah the secret to his strength, she conspired against him and had his hair cut off during his sleep. When he woke up, he went out as before to free himself from the Philistines who had bound him. The Bible says, “But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” His strength was gone.
In our sleep, our own government has conspired to take away our strength. For the last 50 years or so, it has clipped away the morality which God, through his church, has established in our great nation. Samson’s strength was lost with each clip; one and then another until it was all gone. Likewise with us; take prayer out of schools (one clip), legalize abortion (another clip), push for the acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle (another clip); and before you know it, we’re waking up and realizing our strength is gone.
Samson’s strength came back. It didn’t happen immediately when he realized the mistake he had made. He didn’t get to say “Sorry God” and then be as he was before. His strength returned at the incredibly slow rate of hair growth. Over time, the damage done, clip by clip, was reversed as his hair grew back.
Likewise our strength will not return, just because we wake up and say “Sorry God”. It will return as, clip by clip, we restore the morals that our government has cut.
Water, without any help, will flow. There are a couple of places in my yard where water flow has been a challenge to control. This is the beginning of our fourth growing season; and though I have not completely won, I have gained.
I hate to think of what my yard would look like if I had not done all I have to improve it. Without a doubt there would be deep ruts where the flow would have carried away the good soil and new grass. It has taken, and will continue to take, consistent attention to keep the water under control. It will never be stopped – water will flow; but it can be directed and controlled.
So it is with evil. Evil will never be stopped. Evil, without any help, will flow. And if consistent attention is not given to the control of it, it will cut and carry away the good that so many before us have worked to establish.
There was a time when good people restrained evil. Abortion was restrained until Wade’s stand gave way. What started as a little rut is now a deep and ugly, seemingly permanent, cavernous ditch. The homosexual world was at one time restrained. Not any more. Both are wide open, in your face, acceptable; and to view it otherwise is considered archaic.
Nobody but me can be blamed for my yard. Nobody but us are to blame for our nation.
This is the one instance in Judges, where, the people have forgotten God . . . again; and “the Philistines have shattered and crushed them for eighteen years.” This time though, when they called for help, God said no. “Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble.”
So he lets them simmer for eighteen years; until he reaches this point of not being able to bear their misery any longer. It’s interesting who he picks this time to help them. It says, “Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior.” But, of all Gilead’s sons, Jephthah was the son of a prostitute.
Interesting to me that God picked the best man for the job. He was a mighty warrior. Israel needed a warrior to fight against the people who were oppressing them. Jephthah’s whole life had prepared him for this time.
We are at a time in our own country, when for far too long, wrong has oppressed what is right. Consider the most recent example. The idea of abortion becoming illegal is “out of touch” with most people. And one step further, if it becomes illegal – meaning it is against the law – only one person is saying the woman should be punished. People have forgotten what right even looks like.
Judges 9:23 says, “God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem.” Gideon’s 70 sons from his many wives had become rulers. Abimelech, a son from a concubine, asked the citizens if they would prefer one ruler instead of 70. They agreed. Abimelech then killed the 70 innocent brothers.
Both the act of the killing, and the citizen’s willingness to go along with it, displeased God. So he sent this evil spirit between them so that they turned against each other. They ended up wiping each other out. The city and its people were destroyed by Abimelech, and Abimelech, in the process, got his head split open.
I wondered about us. Has God sent an evil spirit between our government and its citizens? Is he displeased that our government has authorized the killing of the innocent? That our citizens, by a lack of resistance, show a willingness to go along with it? Innocent babies are aborted. Innocent Christians are beheaded and burned alive.
The citizens could have stood and said, “No!” to Abimelech. But they had slipped far enough from God – far enough in their moral values – that when Abimelech came along, they were not sharp enough to catch the fault; and they went along.
Have our citizens slipped? Are we no longer moved to the point of standing and saying, “No!”? Has our salt lost its savor? Going along does not have a good ending.
Somewhere in our past is a wound that our enemy picks at with recurring little digs. The intent is to keep it open – to keep it from healing. Mine occurred when I was 6. I was the new kid on the block. My new friends thought it would be funny, after luring me into a little backyard playhouse, to shut the door and then locked it.
My enemy was fast on the scene to suggest that they did not like me. It was my first memorable gash on my soul; and though I didn’t realize it at the time, it would be THE gash that he would pick at for the rest of my life.
I wonder if that is the same tactic he used when Ishmael and his mother were forced to leave Abraham, Sarah and their new son Isaac. Isaac was chosen over Ishmael. I can imagine a huge opportunity for a wound there. This wound would have a lot of potential; way beyond the life of Ishmael. This one has been picked at now for 4,000 years.
There is a purpose for these wounds. Mine was picked at so long that by the time I became a Christian, I questioned whether God liked me. With Ishmael’s offspring, Satan has convinced them that he is god – that the Jews stole what was rightfully theirs – and that he, as their god, Allah, is leading them to settle the score. They are not after peace.
There is at least one similarity between Christianity and the religion of Islam. Both want people to believe their message. But where one is a gracious offer, the other is an ultimatum.
It all started with Abraham. God picked him to begin a nation. The problem is he had two sons. Both began a nation. The Bible contains the record of one nation while the Koran contains the record of the other. This all happened before the ‘everyone gets a trophy’ craze. Only one nation was declared the winner.
The resentment began immediately and for thousands of years, it has brewed into a deep hatred. The losing side intends to claim what they feel is rightfully theirs. It calls for the annihilation of the other team and anyone associated with them.
All God ever wanted was a people that he could care for and be loved by. But in spite of all he did they kept forgetting him. After a 2,000 year pattern, he extended the invitation to anyone in the world. Forever a loving God, when he could rightfully wash his hands of us all, he continues his gracious offer.
Islam’s offer comes with an ultimatum. Join them in their fight or die. Their ways remind me of a verse. ‘Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy; but God came that we might have life.’ I believe their god is Satan. They are not a peace loving people.