Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Now Then, You Kings, Act Wisely!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Why are the nations so angry?  Why do they waste their time with futile plans?  The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one.  “Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”  But the one who rules in heaven laughs.  The Lord scoffs at them.  Then in anger he rebukes them, terrifying them with his fierce fury.
For the Lord declares, “I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain.”  The king proclaims the Lord’s decree:
“The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son.  Today I have become your Father.  Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.  You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.’”
Now then, you kings, act wisely!  Be warned, you rulers of the earth!  Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant.  But what joy for all who take refuge in him!     Psalm 2:1-12(NLT)
A well-known preacher from the last century said that a preacher ought to have a Bible in one hand and the daily newspaper in the other.  I think that’s so true, because the Scripture is as timeless, and as current as it needs to be to guide us through anything.
In 2016, my newspaper has many pages…CNN, Fox, Facebook…and on and on.
Facebook and my Bible reading collided this morning.  It was a small collision; David and Goliath always have the same outcome!
But I digress.
A fellow pastor on Facebook commented on the UMC General Conference debating divesting from Israel (as being so wrong).  A comment that followed was:  How (do) you show God’s love for Palestinians also?  It is a real dilemma for Christians!
My immediate thought was:  you don’t!  Although loving your enemies is certainly a New Testament staple, when it involves abandoning those God loves, how can you justify it?
Psalm 2 is all about the holy relationship between JHWH and Israel, and how the enemies of Israel are always plotting, making alliances and prodding the anger-pot to throw off God’s plans.  By comparison, Christians have historically stood with Israel, in part because there is much more in our common root (Jesse’s stump) than with her enemies.  But the primary reason is God’s admonition in Scripture:
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper.  Psalm 122:6(NLT)
All the land of historical Palestine belongs to Israel.  According to the Psalmist God perpetually warns the kings of the earth to behave themselves and bow down to God’s will. 
That includes being at peace with (not aggression against) Israel.

For You Today

When your Facebook feed blows up over political riots and suicide bombers, threats of Far East nuclear power, or even terrorist and economic disaster, do not be anxious; the noise you can hear in the background (if you listen well) is JHWH having a daily laugh over the kings of the earth flexing their muscles.
At such times, look up…your redemption is drawing nigh!
You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!


[1] Title Image:  By U.S. Department of State from United States, via Wikimedia Commons

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