Recently I spent an evening watching the national and international news. I must admit that over the course of that evening it seemed that it was one negative story after another.
Some stories were focused on the conflicts between people and nations. Some stories were about the struggles of people trying to make ends meet. And it would seem that a majority of the stories had an element of violence and confrontation as a part of it.
Truly it is sad to a large extend and as well a cause for concern as it relates to the state of our world. If one were to look at our world these days, we might be inclined to believe that all that we are seeing and experiencing is a first time event. But if we merely view our world through the prism of today with the mindset that all we are seeing and experiencing is new, then in doing so we are failing to recognize that this is merely a reflection of what has happened in the past.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 reminds us that “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”
These scriptures were of course inspired and written by God thousands of years ago. They serve as a reminder that though we may have thoughts that what is happening today is new and perhaps unique, it is simply an encore performance of what we have seen in the past.
The daily struggles, on going conflicts, and even graphic examples of violence are sadly a reminder that those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.
Our bible shares with us the story of Cain and Abel. It is a story of two brothers. Two brothers who as we know approached their relationship with our heavenly father in opposite ways. One brother had as his focus in life being in obedience to God. One brother had as his focus in life being about himself and being envious of his brother. We know that this story has a tragic ending. A story who’s ending was rooted in jealously and anger which resulted in conflict leading to violence.
1.Throughout our bible we find numerous stories of conflict between individuals, families, and nations. And while we may be tempted to look back at those people and times with a certain level of disdain, those times and events as such stand as cautionary tales of what happens when our focus is not on God, but instead is inward on self; and when self is the prevailing focus what invariably comes forth are the sins of each of us. Be it resentment, jealously, the desire to oppress others, or even covetousness, sin has proven over and over again to be that which can consume us to the point where we turn against each other.
Sin it has been said is reflective of many things, but in many situations it is about divide and conquer. Separating our time, talents, and devotion from God, and instead causing us to put self first, and more often than not, we do so at the expense of not just others, but most of all at the cost of a growing relationship with God.
From the beginning of time itself and continuing through our present day many continue in conflict with each other. And yet time and time again we fail to acknowledge that that which divides us cannot be solved in and of ourselves.
Yet even as our bible presents us with story after story of conflict, it also reveals to us that even as we continue to repeat history, God extends to us a means of escape. 2 Chronicles 7:14 stands as a promise from God that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land .”
These days and times that we see unfolding before us seemingly at times appear to leave us with little hope. At times I am sure that each of us indeed feels that all does appear to be spinning out of control. But as we move forward day by day, let us do so knowing that during those times when we are unsure or perhaps even doubting what tomorrow may bring, let us remember that no matter what may come, God is our very refuge and strength, a present help in our time of need.
To God Be The Glory
Alan T. Black