Recently there has been some big hurts, big proclamations and claims of hatred. Much is sensational in hopes of grabbing headlines. Three that I will pose Bible passages for include:
- Shooting in San Bernardino, CA.
- The Godzilla El Nino in the Pacific.
- Donald Trump and refugees.
I'll share some thoughts, mainly from the Bible and then let you draw your own conclusion. My purpose is to encourage us to think as Jesus would:
The Shooting: The couple who did this wanted to do this. They planned it for months. The goal was to kill. It was intentional. There is no debate about these facts. For some reason they believed this was good. They were deceived. 2 Corinthians 11:14 explains: "But I am not surprised! Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light."
And 1 John 3:10 tells us, "So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the Devil. Anyone who does not obey God's commands and does not love other Christians does not belong to God."
If God calls something good what are you to call it? If God calls something evil what are you to call it?
The El Nino: It's tough to find a passage of scripture that applies to this specifically, but the principle in Deuteronomy 18:22 applies well. "If the prophet predicts something in the LORD's name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared."
Talking about false prophets. Well, many have been calling this El Nino the biggest ever. Record-breaking. Never seen before. And on and on. Lots of sensational headlines. Yet, there are signs of it not being as strong or deep as previous Super El Nino's (82-83 and 97-98). Who is right?
We must reserve judgment until this El Nino ends. Only then will we really see how strong it turned out to be, in terms of impact upon our weather, and in terms of lasting power. If it fails to live up to the hype, should we fear the "prophets of doom" in terms of a warming world? If it does live up to its hype, do we listen to those who downplayed it?
The Refugees: As a matter of principle, Leviticus 19:33 reads: "Do not exploit the foreigners who live in your land. They should be treated like everyone else, and you must love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I, the LORD, am your God."
Of course the skeptic can simply say "That's old testament. We don't live under the Law anymore." And that is true. But the principle of it does apply, or is that outdated too? I think we all know the obvious answer to that one. In case it is not obvious to you, Jesus commanded us to "love our enemies," and to "pray for those who persecute you."
One other thought is from Matthew 10:1, "Look, I [Jesus] am sending you [disciples] out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as snakes and harmless as doves."
Based on the above, and others not listed, could the Lord be teaching us that we are to receive those who need help, to treat them with love and respect, yet we must be very careful and wise in knowing how the world works and alert to the dangers that lurk?
Discuss among yourselves and pray for our leaders to do what is right.