Welcome to the Word for Wednesday meme! Each week, we share a scripture that has touched our hearts, whether it’s an old favorite or new light from the Holy Spirit. If you’d like to join us, post your scripture, with as much or as little commentary as you choose, and leave a link in the comments below. And be sure to check out the other posts! You’re also welcome to use this photo of my favorite Bible.
As Americans, we’re quite fond of bashing Beltway politicians and blaming them for all the woes of our country. Democrats bash republicans, republicans bash democrats, and independents like me? We are equal-opportunity bashers, going after Washington no matter who’s in power.
As satisfying as this game can be, however, I think we’re using the wrong weapons and shooting the wrong targets.
Typically, Christians stand up and sound off when things happen that are obviously outside the will of God – the murder of unborn babies and the torture of prisoners come quickly to mind. But who is responsible, and where should we direct our anger? Whose fault is it, really?
Is it God’s fault? Some people think so, hence the profusion of books about “when God lets bad things happen.” But I have to go with Job on this one.
He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. (Job 1:21-22)
So if it’s not God, then it must be the government’s fault, right? One of our favorite targets? Well … maybe not.
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1)
If God doesn’t cause sin and, as this verse states, God establishes all authority, then it cannot be the fault of that authority, either. Governments cannot sin, only people can sin.
So that leaves we the people, another good target, which goes like this:
Can you believe what those (insert one) did?
- New Yorkers
- city slickers
- business owners
- Indian chiefs
You get the idea. We are quick to point at another group of people when things go wrong. God, however, points at us. His people. His church. As Rebecca said in a comment on last week’s WFW, “it is the CHURCH that sets the standard for the nations.”
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:9-12)
While the condition of our country lies with the church, let’s not get into the group-blame-game again. It’s not the fault of the Lutherans or the Episcopalians or the prosperity preachers. It’s the fault of His people, each individual person who has been born again into His kingdom, regardless of their church affiliation.
At the risk of repeating previous WFW scriptures, I offer the following related passages for meditation.
If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and 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, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God. If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers. (1 Samuel 12:14-15)
I have a theory about the last couple of administrations in Washington, and it goes like this. I think God allowed George W. Bush to take office so that republican Christians would stop putting their faith in Washington. Given the rape of the Bill of Rights, the murder of uncounted innocent Iraqis, and the torture of prisoners kidnapped from around the world, this plan succeeded admirably.
I think God allowed Barrack H. Obama to take office so that democratic Christians would stop putting their faith in Washington. Given a $10 trillion deficit, the government takeover of the auto industry, and the coming government takeover of the health-care industry, this plan will succeed as well.
If I’m right, then the state of our country is not because God is punishing tax cheats, murderers, or other evil-doers. It’s because He is calling His people to repent and seek His face.
Will we hear and answer? Or will we continue to blame the other guy?