Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: “Is there no wisdom in Teman? Is no one left to give wise counsel? Turn and flee! Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan! For when I bring disaster on Edom, I will punish you, too! Those who harvest grapes always leave a few for the poor. If thieves came at night, they would not take everything. But I will strip bare the land of Edom, and there will be no place left to hide. Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors will all be destroyed, and Edom itself will be no more. But I will protect the orphans who remain among you. Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.”
Whenever there’s a death there is certainly mourning. And it lasts for a time, after which, life then tends to move on. But not with political grief; that just seems to hang around forever. If the Democrats win the day it will be Republican sorrow and gnashing of teeth; if it’s the other way around, Democrats will sit in sackcloth and ashes for the duration of the next cycle. Calamity is the face of the party of opposition, no matter if it is mule blue or pachyderm red. For either side of the aisle, when one side wins, in the mindset of the other side it means the end of the world for decency, prosperity and apple pie…except in heaven.
God gave Jeremiah a message to deliver to neighboring Edom – a thorn in Jacob’s side since antiquity, and still so – to those who put all their trust in political power – for the right or wrong reasons; God said: don’t do that, because, if you think for one minute political power can save you….when it comes to disaster, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Now, I’m certain that’s not the way it sounded in Hebrew; I’m sure the LORD uses better grammar than that…but the meaning is unmistakably foreboding. God is patient, but God never relinquishes his sovereignty.
In the U.S. presidential campaign of 2016, there were those who wanted to Make America Great Again; and there were many who wanted to save the world from those who wanted to make America great again. When the dust settled…well, it actually hasn’t settled…nor will it…ever…but, at least after the ballots were counted, the dance of political intrigue and posturing was just starting; and so it goes.
I’m wondering this morning if we in modern America are just like ancient Edom; do we trust in what we’ve built through our history of possessing this land, and building our power structures through Congress, and having powerful armies and weapons around the world? Is our trust in having enough economic power to bully anyone who gets in our way?
Whether it’s fair or not to compare the U.S. to Israel’s Arab neighbors is debatable; my wonderment is tied to the attitude of invincibility of people who have vested their eternity in American exceptionalism. If there’s one thing about history repeating itself that is fixed and unchanging it’s that invincibility is transitory at best, and an illusion at its most dangerous. Like the Emperor’s New Clothes, we can tell ourselves God is on our side, and that we are once again great, and that all the news is fake or true. But the only lasting government is located a good bit North of Washington, and a lot higher than CNN.
Edom was completely destroyed for her arrogance and resisting God’s ways, as well as persecuting God’s people. The existence of the nation ceased, and their civilization is unknown today, just as Jeremiah prophesied.
It seems we could add a little addendum to our national motto, In God We Trust. Perhaps we could also remember daily, nationally, and very personally:
It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Zechariah 4:6(NLT)