Thursday, July 14, 2016

Ran From a Lion...Met Up With a Bear...Got Snake-bit to Boot

Thursday, July 14, 2016

What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the Lord were here!”
You have no idea what you are wishing for.  That day will bring darkness, not light.  In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion—only to meet a bear.  Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house—and he’s bitten by a snake.    Amos 5:18-19(NLT)
Amos was speaking to his culture of the national leaders who would maintain a façade of being “Israel” the special chosen family of God.  However, they were far from worshipping in spirit and truth.  As Isaiah said

And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine.  They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.  Isaiah 29:13(NLT)

Amos was pointing specifically to those who were crying out to God for justice, praying for The Day of the Lord to arrive; but if God had shown-up their situation would go from bad – to worse – to nightmare!  It would be like running from the lion of persecution and oppression, only to meet the bear of the entrenched power structure, and, in turning away to lean against the wall of self-pity in your own house, and being bitten by a snake.

As those great philosophers Roy Clark and Buck Owens used to sing, gloom, despair and agony on me![ii]

A few months ago I wrote in this space[iii] about a Pyrrhic Victory, where the cost of victory far outweighs what you wind up with.  You start out with 100,000 soldiers to take a hill; the battle is so fierce that you AND your enemy lose 98% of your troops, and blow the hill to smithereens in the process.  You don’t even have room enough to bury the dead in what’s left.  Can you call THAT a victory?

I’ve been thinking (a whole lot) about Black Lives Matter and the heavy duty lifting of the whole cultural swing in which we find ourselves today.  It is a “war” from many perspectives, and there are many more questions than answers. 

Unfortunately, the most angry, (people of color who live with being marginalized and want change fast – so much so, that it would make King Pyrrhus’ head spin…as well as whites who feel their enfranchised control slipping-away) – these most angry make me wonder what will be left if either “wins” or even survives. 

Usually, when Pyrrhus is done the only winners are the circling vultures ready to clean up the battlefield.  And I cannot help but sense that we are running from the lions and bears, right into the waiting snakes.  What are we going to have left for both sides when this is a footnote in the history books? 

On the whole, I agree with the basic premise of BLM – wherever white rule and oppression of people of color exists, it ought to be destroyed.  But the ammunition ought to be the caliber of  what Jesus said through the apostle Paul:

See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.  1 Thessalonians 5:15(NLT)

For You Today

I have two questions I always ask when looking at what happens in our culture:
          1.     Will what’s being done further the kingdom of 
          2.     How can I plug-into what’s happening with the 
                reality that only love conquers evil?

You chew on that as you hit the Rocky Road today…have a blessed day!
Go to the VIDEO

[i] Title Images: (Lion) By Anmol Waychal, via Wikimedia Commons, (Bear) By Internet Archive Book Images, via Wikimedia Commons,
(Snake) By Retiredplayboy (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons
[ii][ii] GLOOM, DESPAIR AND AGONY ON ME, From the TV Show "Hee-Haw" (1969 -1992)

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