Over the past couple weeks we have gradually pulled ourselves around to ask if Britain can come to terms with the no longer latent threats they have knowingly, willingly incubated over the past few decades. Sadly, at last report, overnight, seven civilians on or around London Bridge have died at the hands of three knife wielding strangers to the UK. Strangers because even though it might be revealed they were born or naturalized citizens of Britain, they had refused to assimilate to the culture.
If not strangers but invaders, the government needs to revisit the policy of allowing free passage through their borders of just anyone, whether friend or foe. But if strangers in their own country; then in terms of these attackers especially, the government needs the will to exercise its powers to bring about the assimilation of its growing adversarial Muslim population.
As in Britain, so in other European countries and in the United States; when terror steps onto the porch two very different reactions are possible, quite likely, from the worried homeowner inside. He might reach for a weapon while he calls for help. Or he might shrug his shoulders hoping the locks hold through the night. Incredibly, one householder, for real, did both during his one lifetime. Just a few years into his term of office he prudently took his first threat seriously. He announced the country was in “extreme danger” and sent for reinforcements. According to reports, the attacker was divinely led away and the king who had sent the invaders soon died at his own sons’ hands while worshiping in a temple to his god.
Much later in this same king’s term of office, most imprudently, he welcomed foes as friends, showed them around, let them view all the treasures: the vaults of his own and his nation’s wealth. A freakishly stupid show of pride on his part, he brought about a most certain divine promise of destruction upon his country. When he heard the details of the promise, what was in store for his countrymen at the hands of Babylon for generations to come, what he had done to his culture; he defiantly shrugged his shoulders and trusted the locks to hold.
Such reversals in fortune can take place in a single generation, or over several generations. Perhaps confident because the first threat was avoided a country or individual will assume the next event will be averted also, without needlessly resorting to embarrassing, cowardly looking excesses: such as declaring a national emergency or a national day of prayer.
But let’s ask, “What type of life-altering event can intervene between when a national leader faces down an enemy the first time and turns his back on adversity the next?” Are there life events shared by individuals and countries predictive of such radical departures from what is wise and prudent to what is careless and destructive? In this instance a king heard some bad news, not that rare, because most everyone passes on sometime. The bad news? “You are terminally ill. You need to wrap things up, appoint a successor, and tell me what songs you want sung at your funeral.”
The reaction? Hysterical prayer, “This is not fair. Look at all I’ve done for you, God. It’s just not right.” For some reason, maybe a God Thing, God said, “OK. You have fifteen more years to live.” After receiving a divine assurance (the prized immunity totem famed in television’s Survivor series) that he had fifteen years to go, after recovering enough to get out of bed; that’s when the fateful meeting between the peace loving ambassador and the unsuspecting, totally left-his-guard-down king took place.
Such it is when countries elect into power those who have ceased to worry about the next generation, who have supplanted the right in favor of remaining in office, no matter what. That’s a major difference between God and men. God always, every time keeps his promises, whether they be campaign promises or not, whether they result in great or terrible consequences, whether it makes Him look good or not. That’s the one thing Hezekiah was counting on when he heard the news, before shrugging his shoulders and waiting out the fifteen years.
What bad news you ask? Isaiah after the visit came looking for the king to relay a divine message to him:
Hear the word of the Lord, Behold the time is coming when all that is in your house, and that which your forefathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon, nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your sons who shall be born to you shall be taken away, and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon’s king. (AMP)
The king’s answer you ask?
The word of the Lord you have spoken is good. For he thought, Is it not good if [all this evil is meant for the future and] peace and security shall be in my days? (AMP)
If we think such inhumane thoughts are not in the hearts of men, we should recognize they can be and are. If we think such betrayal cannot possibly reside in the minds of our elected and non-elected government officials, again we should be confident they are capable of such and might very well execute the worst of betrayals, simply because the moment of doom won’t likely occur during what remains of their own lifetimes.
Today’s Lesson: Beware any and all who evidence they are in possession of an immunity trophy. Whether in government or flashing a knife, they are equally dangerous to the present, and more equally, most certainly dangerous to the future.
Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE, Old Testament copyright 1965, 1987 by the Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament copyright 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
First passage: II Kings 20:16b-17
Second passage: II Kings 20:19b
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About The Pundit
This retired window washer now provides instruction on the benefits and perils of time travel through focusing an allegorical lens on the present.