Brooms, Mops and Repressive Regimes
“No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt a man. But it is God who judges. He brings one down, he exalts another” —Psalm 75:6, 7, NIV.
In recent weeks the world attention has focused on the Middle East. Suddenly and definitively, the Egyptian people found their voice and used it. Neigbouring states living under repressive regimes, followed Egypt’s example. Now the world watches Libya. Here freedom will be harder to gain. My mind goes to Cuba, to Venezuela, to Ecuador and other places, wondering if the fire will catch in these countries where freedom has more than just a few limitations.
The period of the Judges in Israel are a reminder that there is so much more happening than any of us could possibly be aware of. The God of the nations, whether or not those nations acknowledge Him, is at work carrying out His plans and purposes. In one of Israel’s darkest periods of history, pagan and repressive regimes became God’s instruments to punish sin, to rebuke, to restore. And when those nations overstepped their boundaries, or God’s people repented, God removed the threat.
We cannot know the mind of God or understand his workings in the world. But we can be assured that He is working. The redemptive plan sometimes requires stern measures in the light of constant and deep-rooted rebellion. However, God’s “bottom line” is the restoration of a lost creation to its Creator. Setting up and bringing down dictators or democratic leaders is much more His business than it is ours.
Our business is to follow God and work for a nation that will follow Him. Hopefully, we will never need Him to allow a repressive regime to show us how much we lost when we so easily let go of morals and values that God holds dear to His heart.
A friend on FACEBOOK posted a story about a church in Kansas whose members protest at the funerals of fallen American soldiers. They claim in their slogans and shouting that these men deserved to die because their government permits homosexuality and other sins. They claim that God has punished these men and will continue to punish others unless America returns to God.
As much as their behaviour is appalling, unchristian, and insensitive to the grief of these families, their actions call to our attention the need to look for ways to clean our own houses of the moral decay that has taken root.
Peter issues a solemn warning in 1 Peter 4:17 (NIV) when he says: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and it begins with us…” Paul adds this note: “…if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment” —1 Corinthians 11:31, NIV.
Several years ago, Canada was officially declared a “secular state: rather than a Christian country. How did we, the church, lose a country founded on Christian principles, to secularism?
I’d guess we neglected to clean our house. And since we didn’t, how long will it be before God does it for us, and under what circumstances will that house-cleaning take place? We watch the rise and fall of evil men in other parts of the world. But does it ever cross our minds that God might have someone like one of them waiting in the wings to be His housekeeping in our house?