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7.04.2005    |    "Is not the LORD in the midst of us?"
On this Independence Day 2005, it is useful to be reminded of the price of national hubris. Actually, it is always useful, but the lesson is especially meaningful on this day that can so easily be given over to excessive national pride. Make no mistake; I love my country, and think it has earned many of the blessings that God has bestowed on us. It, however, is so easy to forget who is the essential Author of our liberty.

The prophet Micah has told Israel, waxing full of themselves as God's chosen people, that they need to remember who is in charge. And, especially, to remember that one never, ever, should take the Lord for granted. From Micah 3:
9Hear this, you heads of the house of Jacob
and rulers of the house of Israel,
who detest justice
and make crooked all that is straight,
10who build Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with iniquity.
11Its heads give judgment for a bribe;
its priests teach for a price;
its prophets practice divination for money;
yet they lean on the LORD and say,
"Is not the LORD in the midst of us?
No disaster shall come upon us."
12Therefore because of you
Zion shall be plowed as a field;
Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.
"Zion shall be plowed as a field." The antidote, to prevent this? Micah has the answer in chapter 6:
8He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Quite simple to state; quite hard to carry out. But absolutely necessary: Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.

I believe that America does all of these, in some measure. Perhaps not nearly as well as we should. Especially that business that requires us to "walk humbly with your God." This, of course, means not simply acknowledging God as being sovereign. It means loving Him, and following His precepts, and knowing, absolutely down to our bones, that only He is in charge.

This is the hard part, which I fear America, along with most other nations, is simply not doing. My prayer is that America recover her sense of God and His sovereignty over all, His sovereignty over America. And that we act accordingly.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.