New York Daily News’ provocative article about God failing to address our nation’s violence. “God isn’t fixing this”. We hide behind useless platitudes. We call on God and he does nothing. I don’t remember them printing their prayers for help, you know, in big bold print so God is sure to read it from the sky. When were they asking for his help? If anything I recall us as a nation telling God he was not needed or welcome anymore. So what do we have? People firing guns in the streets and in schools. People acting like there are no moral standards or higher power to be accountable too, hmm… Now sadly this wasn’t lamenting God’s absence, because that would be something. No this is a smokescreen, an obvious cover of the bigger agenda of gun control. Now control should be discussed, but not here. That should happen in times of peace when our heads are on straight not in the wake of mass human loss. This isn’t a political blog, but they brought him up, so let’s talk about God’s part in this.
What they are doing here is a provocation for us to move on something that will have an actual impact, you know, because God doesn’t? Because everyone knows God doesn’t exist and we are silly for praying to him, right? How empathetic we are to those in mourning.
I guess calling on God for help is so 2001. Even before 9/11, I remember 1999 with Columbine and the prayers that went out. But since then apparently science has solved us of our God problem and politics have delivered us from evil, or have they not yet? But it is a good question even though it wasn’t a question of a truly agnostic heart. Why isn’t God helping us?
So another tragedy has taken place on American soil and rather than call out to God for help, we use him to push an agenda. They mock those who call on the name of the Lord. They even took the time to highlight all the silly people who do call for prayer. This reminds me of 2 Peter 3:4-9.
knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.
They mock and point out that God has not arrived yet. Where is God? Where is your deliverer? Where are your answered prayers? They say this and all the while they forget that God is delaying judgment so that more might repent. They fail to realize that while they mock they are being added to the very judgment, the very justice, they mock for not coming.
Could part of the problem be we are more interested in politicizing this tragedy than calling for repentance? But Gabe isn’t writing a blog about this doing just that? Well, no because I am offering real help to the real problem. We have lawless people running around in what is becoming an increasingly morally bankrupt America. We need a moral solution, one that is bed-rocked in something greater than ourselves. God. If we actually wanted God to fix this problem the place where we should start is on our knees. The direction of our culture, however, has not been one of seeking God’s help. If we want God’s help then why is our country going out of its way to remove him from both public and personal life? Ah, so he is probably not fixing this because we want no part with him. I am then reminded of Psalm 2
Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain, The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against them and against his Anointed, saying “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Now, therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Now before we misunderstand, God does not sit and laugh at our tragedy he laughs at our plans to usurp him. He weeps at our tragedy, he beckons us to return and be made whole. He desires us to repent and be saved. He says I have set up my King in Zion, Jesus, go to him! He calls us to take refuge in him, but we have no interest in his blessing, we are busy with our prodigal living and show no sign of turning back to the ranch. This is on us, and maybe this is what the Dahli Lama was trying to get at a few weeks ago, but we do need the welcoming arms of God to do it. We have run off, and we need to come back.
God has already said my help is available but we would have none of it! Verse 3 is telling of us when we as a people have said to God “let us break our bonds and cast the cords away from us.” How? Well we have made him unwelcome in our government, in our schools, he has become unwelcome at work, and we work to remove him from the streets. He is unwelcome in our morals, in our laws, in our speech. What’s next, soon our homes maybe? We are even taking steps to keep him away while making way for our false gods to take up residence. Our kings and rulers have said We will not have you rule over us! We have spit in the face of God but now we want to invoke him to make an impassioned plea and provoke a response from his people to make a political point for our system. We mock God but God is not moved by our ridicule or our arrogance, he laughs! But he is moved by humility. If we will humble ourselves and return to the Lord and call on the name of Jesus that we have cast away, then and only then, will he rise from his position and perhaps help us.
But not while he while we continue pointing our finger in his face. We have thrown off the bonds of God and have the gall to wonder why a godless nation produces men and women who want nothing to do but steal, kill, and destroy. But rather than ask those questions about how we got here, why we are here? We focus on the symptoms. We make it about the particular instrument used in the incident. We pretend that the particular weapon is the problem rather than the people who do these things. Why don’t we ask those deeper questions instead? What is wrong with our people, our souls? May it is because those questions will reveal a condition of the human heart that we all posses? Maybe a heart that we have fostered and coddled and paraded as virtuous. Oh, I think we know and we don’t want that curtain pulled back.
Well, we pushed and wanted a godless nation and we got it. So much so that we will only bring God up to drag his character through the mud just to continue building our own kingdom of refuse. We have so little regard for God that we will jump on the first occasion to both undermine him, his followers and continue our world without him. Even while our nation crumbles. And we wonder why we are here? We dishonestly comment on his failure to help.
I don’t say this gleefully, but…Congratulations America, you are getting the utopia you purchased with your own sins.
But not all is lost! So do we pray? Yes, we pray! We pray even when we are ridiculed for it. We pray in our times of want and in our times of plenty. We pray because we have a God who acts! We ask because we have a God who forgives, and not just that he does but he wants to! A God who will even forgive our mocking of him. Let us take him up on his offer. Seek refuge in the Lord!
It is not too late to return to the Lord, today is the day of salvation. Be warned O’ Kings of the Earth. Kiss Son lest he be angry and you perish in the way. There is a warning and a call. He is calling to us. C.S. Lewis says that God is shouting to us in pain. He is saying Return and be saved! But to do this, well, that would require looking in the mirror once and a while and bending our stiff necks.