Hello, may I call you friend? And might I write you a letter? Sort of a strange way to begin an article isn’t it? But when I am writing I try to write as though each reader is a friend, and I think friends are scarce these days. Oh many people will tell you they have many friends and their “Facebook” can prove it. I don’t think so, a real friend is someone you like to be with, someone you can depend on when you are in need as well as when you are thriving, someone you like to just sit and sip coffee with, to share your plans and ideas with, he has your back and you have his. Maybe that isn’t a dictionary definition, but it’s mine. And I think those kind of friends are pretty rare. If you have one you are lucky, if you have two or three you are well blessed. I recently enjoyed a movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” which revolved around the life of the “Mister Rogers,” TV character who knew what friendship is and was a friend to most everyone he met.
And letters? People don’t write letters any more, they will send a quick e-mail or an even quicker text but they just don’t have time to write an old-fashioned letter. Your grandparents probably wrote letters, your great grandparents surely did. It was great to get a letter from a friend or relative, filling you in on what was going on in their lives, and it was a joy to sit and write an answer; especially if you were in service somewhere, and letters are something you can keep and enjoy in later years. Facebook just puts you in competition with everyone else, and the smart phones often seem to be more interesting than people you are with. I’ve noticed instances of him-and-her with each playing their separate phone; and groups of several where no one is talking to anyone else, everyone is phone-struck.
If you have read several of my articles you know that I usually find somewhere to insert a biblical quotation or two. I try to look at the news from a Christian perspective and it is usually pretty easy to find an appropriate reference. I am not a pastor nor a theologian but I do try to read some scripture every day. I think of the Bible as a letter from God to the people on earth. He wants to tell us about Himself. Earlier He approached us in other ways; He spoke personally to Adam and Eve in the garden and maintained that technique to the time of Moses. At some point He began speaking through prophets. Finally He sent His son who arranged for the apostles to finish giving us the scriptures that completed the Bible.
In my youth, I attended a church that taught the Old Testament was not too important, its content was primarily for the Jewish people and we should just stay with the New Testament. There may still be some churches teaching this, I hope not. I now understand the Old Testament predicts the New Testament and the New Testament proves the Old Testament and both center on Jesus Christ.
Now why did I decide to write a letter like this? Well I, like most of you, have been seeing and hearing all about what our government is up to and I don’t like it. Last night I was reading my daily scripture and said to my wife, “You know, this that I’m reading could be referring to our nation, our world, just as much as it was referring to Israel.” She agreed. I said if I write about this people will say it refers to ancient Israel not to us today… Probably! But scripture tells us the Lord is constant, He does not change. When this was written, Israel was doing much as we are doing today. Why should we not think that He would judge us the same way? Read the following and make your own assessment.
Isaiah 3:1-12 (ASV)
“1 For, behold, the Lord, Jehovah of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water; 2 the mighty man, and the man of war; the judge, and the prophet, and the diviner, and the elder; 3 the captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counsellor, and the expert artificer, and the skilful enchanter. 4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. 5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor: the child shall behave himself proudly against the old man, and the base against the honorable. 6 When a man shall take hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand; 7in that day shall he lift up his voice, saying, I will not be a healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: ye shall not make me ruler of the people. 8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their tongue and their doings are against Jehovah, to provoke the eyes of his glory. 9 The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have done evil unto themselves. 10 Say ye of the righteous, that it shall be well with him; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. 11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him; for what his hands have done shall be done unto him. 12 As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they that lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”
(Underlining mine. Verses 13-25 just more of the same.)
The above quotation is spelled out in biblical language and is aimed at a pre-Christ Jewish audience that had turned away from worshiping Jehovah. Should we relate this to today’s America (that has largely turned away from its historical Christian heritage) we might see something like this:
The Lord will take away from America the Blessings He has bestowed upon her, her prosperity and her freedoms will be gone. Her ability to wage war and her honor among the nations will be no more. Her just statesmen will become greedy politicians leading the nation in her downhill progress, honorable leadership will be replaced with child-like haters and cheaters. Women will rule over them. Brother will turn against brother and father against son, son against father. Washington will be home for the dishonest and the greedy. Men will openly turn to their sinful natures and blaspheme their God, taking pride in their evil doings. Woe unto them, they will pray and I will not hear, their own actions will be used to destroy them.
As I said earlier, scripture tells us God does not change. If He judges us as He judged His people in the past, we had better be taking a closer look at what we are doing – and letting our government do.