One Too Many

The first murder of 2012 was committed last Saturday morning here in my hometown. Considering that 20 or 30 murders occurred on any given weekend in Caracas while I lived there, one in eight months doesn't seem like much. But it is still one too many.

It's not that there is an absence of law. No, we are not a lawless nation. But we are a godless nation. Oh, we have churches and freedom of religion is guaranteed. All those niceties exist. Our country was founded on Christian principles and those principles form the basis for the rule of law. But chaos doesn't begin with the breaking of the law, it begins in the heart. And the heart of the nation is godless.

David writes in Psalm 33:12a, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."

It doesn't say that a nation is blessed if it gives lip service to a religion, or holds to a set of moral and ethical norms. It says that blessing comes to a nation that acknowledges THE God and where that God is LORD over every aspect of that nation's life.

To acknowledge any other god, to give lip service, or to cease to acknowledge God at all will eventually spell disaster.

"No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine" (33:16-18).

Around town there have are some benign amusements for locals and for tourists. This is Shania Twain's hometown but the exhibition centre that bears her name is being shut down and her belongings sent back to her. The tour of the gold mine that put this town on the map is slowly disintegrating for lack of care and rumour has it that it will not be open for much longer. But, the city council is working hard to get itself on a provincial list that will allow it to apply for a license to open a casino—not nearly as benign as Shania and the gold mine tour.

Yes, we have had one murder in eight months, but you can bet (pun intended) that as we, as a society, become more godless that number will rise. Sadly we don't seem to be able to connect the dots between godlessness and all the other evils that come with it. The blessing escapes us.

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