Hindsight is 20/20

Monday Musings for November 01, 2021

Good morning, Musers,

When I consider Ancient Israel — and what I call “the cycle of the Jews” ( … where they were prosperous, fell into sin, got conquered, asked God for help, reformed, got prosperous again, fell into sin…) — I sometimes act the Pharisee… pointing the finger and saying, thank God I am not like them!

But I am like them… and I can’t think of a better analog for Christians navigating today’s world than Israel during the period of the Judges. Like Israel, we “know” that God is in charge. But we also “know” the consequences of sin. The problem is that sin is fun… so here we are.

But it’s not just that sin is fun. Living temperate lives — lives where you work hard, live within your means, do your duty to God, family, community and country — can be a grind. Sin is not always about the big public sins… like murder and adultery. Most of the time, it is the small actions like those that lead you to live outside of your means.

So, yes — buying a car could be a sin! … as might be taking out a vacation loan. Do you think that people who lived through America’s great depression were taking out vacation loans after the economy got going again? Today, people don’t think twice about leveraging their futures for a little pleasure… and it’s the incremental nature of selling our futures that leads us into sin.

I’m an American… and the “other shoe” keeps dropping socially and economically. We are still nationally (officially? … or compared to other nations?) prosperous, and we are still drawing from the reservoir of plenty that God had stored up in our land and among our people. But we have abandoned God. One evidence is that “prudent” lifestyles have fallen out of fashion.

So, the enemy is within. We are handing ourselves over to the world little by little… in a methodology appropriate for an age where nations bend to the global economy. But it is not just us; other nations encourage our national debt. We make trade agreements and treaties where perhaps we shouldn’t. But note this well: even great economies have tipping points… and our lives could change tomorrow.

Consider the Jews of the Ancient Near East. They did not leave their goldy lifestyles all at once. They did it little by little… marry a pagan woman here… make the occasional sacrifice to Baal there — you know how it goes. Then, one night they all went to bed, and the next day they were carried off to Babylon… all because of those little decisions along the way.  

Don’t think for a minute that socialism, secularism and Critical Race Theory are not knocking at our door. I mean, the Bible even calls the collection of such entities Babylon! (Revelation 14:8)

We Christians can get a little dewy-eyed when we think of Israel. For a reality check, look at a complete history timeline. Israel was not on top very long. I recommend that you read the book of Judges. It is a sad (yet strangely entertaining) series of stories that show that God will not be mocked. People who violate God’s contingencies will get their tickets punched eventually.

 

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