Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Musings: 6/3/08; Who is in control? by JAH

With the Democrats carrying on an all out battle among themselves trying to decide who their nominee for president will be, and the Republicans already proclaiming their candidate is the right man for the job, many of us need to consider who is in charge of the affairs of state. From ancient times, kings, dictators and warlords have proclaimed themselves to be chosen by God, or by the gods, to be divinely appointed. For that matter, most ministers do, too.

The question is, who is in charge? Is it the man who heads the state and wields the power of the armed forces, or is it a higher power? Each person has to decide what, and who, he believes to answer that question. There have always been people in high offices of various states that proclaimed there is no god, or gods. Some have gone so far as to proclaim themselves as gods. It seems to me that I remember from Roman history that both Augustus and Julius Caesar proclaimed themselves to be gods in the pantheon of gods the Romans held important, and that's how we came to have July and August in our calendars. September, October, November and December were originally the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th months as their first syllables indicate.

Hitler proclaimed himself a god, if not the God. We've watched these people from a great distance, or in the latter instance not too great a distance in time. They all pass away into eternity leaving only the scars of their reigns behind, and the question, who is in charge still troubles so many of us.

It's time to look at Biblical History. God created the heavens and the earth along with everything else. He sought from the beginning to let mankind be free to follow His directions, but from the beginning we failed because of our appetites for the things that were harmful, but were enticing. As history progressed, God brought a flood on mankind, and only Noah and his family survived. God promised that would not happen again. We are descendants of Adam, but also of Noah although I've never heard anyone brag about that.

Many respect Abraham, and at least in funny stories they have made him heaven's gatekeeper. Our pastor pointed out last Sunday that he was an ordinary man, but a man who had a strong faith in God, and God blessed him for that faith.

Still later came Jacob whose name was changed to Israel. He was a conniving man, not the kind of person any church would consider calling a saint, but God talked with him and blessed him because of his faith. He died in Egypt. They moved there because of a famine where they lived, but in the lives of all these people, God was in control of their history. I believe famine was His tool to accomplish His purpose without forcing His will on anyone. He allowed the hatred of Joseph's brothers to transport Joseph to Egypt to prepare the place for them. Joseph said so in Genesis 45:5-8. God sent him to Egypt to prepare a place for his family.

The Pharaoh of Egypt at that time depended on Joseph for almost everything. That Pharaoh died, and God used his successor to drive the Hebrews back to the land He had promised them. He said to Pharaoh in Exodus 9:16, quoted in Romans 9:17, that God raised him up to accomplish His will. Without the things they suffered at the hands of the Egyptians, they would have doubtlessly remained in Egypt content to live out their lives without any real thought of God's will for their future.

When the Hebrews asked God for a king in I Samuel 8:6, they were actually saying they did not want God to be their King, and God told Samuel so in 8:7. God gave them Saul with the warning that he would take their best lands, their choice children, and generally make them suffer for their rejection of their God. It happened just as He promised it would.

Let me jump ahead. Have we ever seen such sin in our nation as we see about us right now? There's always been sinfulness, but it is now rampant, public, and quite acceptable to most people. Churches flourish, but are the individuals in our churches serving the Lord because He is Lord, or is it because they enjoy the ritual, or the music, or hearing messages about social issues rather than about their own sins. I'm questioning how honest we are in saying we are Christians, and how honest we are in following the example the Lord set for us. A great many Americans live lives of egotistical, sexual fantasy much if not most of the time. There are many professions stereotyped as ungodly, such as lawyers, politicians, judges, most governmental employees, and police. It's true that some, perhaps more than some in a few instances, deserve the stereotypical view of their profession, but at the same time, the old adage, "It takes one to know one" must be applied. None of us are good in our own right, but far too many of us go about trying to establish our own righteousness rather than look to the Lord Jesus for our righteousness.

I know Who is in charge, and I stand on Biblical precedent to observe, God will not stand idly by while we take our nation away from Him! He may raise up a Pharaoh, a Hitler, or perhaps even a Goliath to show us we cannot exist without Him. I don't know who should be president, but I believe it will be the person God has raised up to accomplish His will in the United States, and the world, and whatever the result it will work out for the good of His faithful children.


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