Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Cycle Continues

This morning I read a story in my Bible that reminded me that history continually repeats itself.

The story was in 1 Samuel 8 when the children of Israel decided they no longer wanted God to be their King, and wanted an earthly king instead. They said they wanted to be like all the other nations around them.

God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they wanted, saying, "...it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their King." 1 Sam. 8:7 Think about that for a moment..the pain behind those words. God had lovingly brought them out of the slavery of a king in Egypt, had cared for them carefully for years, and now that they were comfortable, they rejected His leadership.

Samuel warned them, saying that the new king would tax them into oblivion..that he would take the best of everything they had...and that he would make them his slaves.

"But they refused to listen to Samuel. "No!" they said. "We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations." (1 Sam. 8:19, 20)

The commentary in my Bible says, "The people clamored for a king, thinking that a new system of government would bring about a change in the nation. But because their basic problem was disobedience to God, their other problems would only continue under the new administration. What they needed was a unified faith, not a uniform rule.

Uh...does this sound vaguely familiar?

Last night I watched an interview between Michael Moore and Shawn Hannity. As you may know, Michael Moore has a new movie coming out about the evils of capitalism. Many times during the interview, M. Moore asked loaded questions like, "Don't you CARE that people are hurting? Doesn't it bother you that xxx number of people have no health care? How do you sleep at night? We are the ONLY democracy that does not have health care for all it's citizens (ie: we want to be like all the countries around us)."

S. Hannity responded that he gives a large portion of his income to charity and that he does not believe that capitalism is the enemy--but rather the way of freedom from the bondage of poverty. (I insert here that it is IMPOSSIBLE for everyone to be the same.) It's actually true that the lower the taxes on 'the rich' the stronger the economy, and a much greater amount of money is brought into the US Treasury. Economics 101.

M.Moore made his case sound sooo noble...so kind...that he truly cared for the downtrodden. He even brought Christianity into it--saying that we, as Christians, needed to care for the poor. (I agree--we should--but not by having the government, a proven, lavish squanderer of money) take it from us by force.

But the truth finally sat on the table between them in one final, defining question..."Michael, you have several mansions and are a multi-millionaire. Isn't it true that you are benefiting from the very system you are trashing? (ie: capitalism) Would you be willing to give 95% of our income to help the poor?"

M.Moore looked uncomfortable and deftly changed the subject.

And there you have it. The truth. It's a lot easier to talk about helping the poor...even make lavish movies about helping them, but hmmmm....not so easy to sell all that you have to help them. M. Moore is getting rich off the very thing he claims to despise and he has no intention of giving up all that money to help the people he claims to care so much about.

And so history continually repeats itself as people prefer to reject the only One who truly loves them with unselfish, unconditional love and flock to those who like to make high-sounding, noble speeches. We follow them because we can feel good that way, without actually having to change our ways.

"But Grandfather, aren't we supposed to do good?"

Grandfather looked away thoughtfully and then said, "There are the normal obligations of human kindness...that we all owe. But there is a kind of vanity in thinking you can nurse the world. There is a kind of vanity in goodness."
--Madeline L'Engle, from the book, " Ring of Endless Light"

4 comments:

Lori said...

AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN!!!!! Very well written, Karin! And the comparison to King Saul is RIGHT ON. The Scriptures serve as a REMINDER to us of how the Lord wants us to live. And ignoring the mistakes of history is a grave mistake. It is SO OBVIOUS that we are repeating a mistake already made. Oh, Jesus...OPEN OUR EYES!!!!

I pray that this post penetrates the hearts of those with scales on their eyes. That God would show Himself to those whose backs are turned to Him.

He LOVES US!!! He wants the BEST for us. But He NEVER, EVER forces Himself on us. He is a gentleman. We can choose LIFE or choose to go our own ways. He lets us choose.

But like my pastor always tells our youth..."you are free to do whatever you want...but you aren't free to choose the consequences."

Shonni said...

Yes, like Lori said, Amen!!

Cari Bacon said...

I am reading through the bible and just finished Jeremiah. I was thinking the same thing like your comparison...how our country is getting further away from God just like His chosen people did and how that must anger Him. We are making a grave mistake, and I pray that our nation will confess our sins, and God will heal our land.

Angie said...

I'm off to read the book of Samuel. There is just so much to learn in the Bible, and come to think of it...no one has ever been able to prove it wrong, have they?