Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Asaph and Election 2016

 I do not often post something political, but as I was reading Psalm 73, I could not but help seeing parallels to the current election cycle.  Many are swayed by the carefully crafted rhetoric, while others are emboldened to continue in their ways.  We should be as Asaph who looks at his situation objectively and spiritually:
Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
    my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.  (Ps 73:1-3)
Notice that Asaph starts with God’s goodness to those living by faith, but he recognizes his temptation to follow after the arrogant and wicked because of what they had and were able to accomplish.  In order to set matters in perspective, he lays out who and what the wicked are about.
For they have no pangs until death;
    their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
    violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
    and their tongue struts through the earth.
Therefore his people turn back to them,
    and find no fault in them.
And they say, “How can God know?
    Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
Behold, these are the wicked;
    always at ease, they increase in riches.  (Ps 73:4-12)
Do these words remind you of anyone running for public office?  Regardless of political party or leaning, narratives will be written to disguise or excuse wickedness for the sake of a greater good.  Brethren, we can be, and should be, politically engaged, but we need to go into any election remembering that the rhetoric is designed to influence us in specific areas of life.  Be mindful so that you will not stumble and slip.

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