Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
The Election of a Lifetime!
What do you do when your candidate takes a position you don't like? When he/she seems to say one thing but do another, or you find out you were just schmoosed and they never really felt/believed that way in the first place? What do you do when the other guy says something you really like?
Something profound that you never thought you would hear out of anyone -- let alone this guy. We catch a good glimpse of God's heart when the people run amuck, in Jeremiah 5 vs 30 and 31.
You see, in those days, the priests and prophets were essentially the government. They handled disputes over everything from property rights to theft and of course, prescribed morality. The government was by all accounts vile and corrupt when God says: "A great and terrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means, and (if that's not bad enough) my people love it this way".
So what do you do? You can --- 1) switch candidates, or 2) Stay with the original and wear a button that says: "nobody's perfect", or 3) be like the bumper sticker which reads: "DON'T VOTE, YOU'LL ONLY ENCOURAGE THEM".
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch. What do you do when God does something you don't like? In Ruth chapter 1, we meet Naomi who with her husband and two sons, sets out on a journey. Her sons marry women of the area they are in (Moab) and subsequently die along with her husband. So here she is, a widow with no means and two daughters in law. She can't take care of herself, let alone them, so she tries to get them to go off on their own. One does. Point is, she is in a bad way. Who to blame? We see who she blames when she returns to her own land and is recognized by a man who greets her by name. She quickly snaps at him: "Don't call me Naomi -- Call me Mara (bitter) for the Lord hath made my life bitter".
Do you see the significance of this? Her bitterness literally became her identity. Know anyone like that?
Conversely, fast forward to 1st Samuel chapter 30. King David is on a long campaign of battles. He has been so successful the troops are actually bringing their families with them. While they were out, the enemy came in and took their wives, sons and daughters captive. Terrible no? Who to blame? The men wanted to stone David to death. David had endured the same terrible circumstance they had, but -- "David found strength (encouragement) in the Lord".
What is the difference? I know as you read this, you have gone through something terrible. Something you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. God says "Be strong. Don't give up. I love you, and will get you through this, and if you persevere, great will be your reward".
Nugget: God doesn't want to give you comfort, He wants to Be Your Comfort. Comfort isn't the absence of irritants, it's victory over irritants. Three things and I'll close. We Can't switch candidates; Jesus is Perfect and You have to vote.