Volume 13 – Issue 166 July – 2016
The Navy in wartime uses an expression of ships that sail into danger as being ‘in harm’s way.’ This has never been more applicable than now for our country. If we continue to depart from God’s way we will soon find ourselves in harm’s way, we must turn back from the current direction our country is heading before we find ourselves out from under God’s provision and protection.
Through the years, as I watch our election process unfold, I have been amazed that the outcome is often determined not by the will of those who live in the greater land masses but by a city or cities found within its borders. I realize that these cities house the most people and we are governed by the will of the people but what is it about cities that they have become such a bastion of liberal reasoning? For instance they hold to the irrational mindset of crying at the death of an unborn animal or the cutting down of a tree but shed no tears for the aborted unborn human. I could continue to list page after page of irrational reasoning on a variety of subjects of those who possess this mindset, but suffice it to say they worship the god of personal convenience instead of the God of truth.
The god of personal convenience has you choose the easier path, one that considers personal responsibility as nothing more than a hindrance that stops you from attaining your personal happiness. Personal convenience has you becoming your own personal god capable of taking God’s Commandments, that have been given to us so that we can live the abundant life promised to us in John 10:10, and trading them for manmade rules, made for our own personal gratification.
A COUNTRY WITHOUT GOD
We seem to be a country hell-bent on being secular. Perhaps if we would go back and study the trait of the first city builder ‘Cain’, we could get an understanding into what makes a city, ‘tick’. In the beginning we know that Cain killed his brother Abel and that God’s judgement of Cain was…: “You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Gen. 4:12. Cain, we are told, headed for the land of Nod, which means ‘wandering.’ The point is even though Cain settled down in the land of Nod in his heart, he remained a wanderer. Having rejected God, Cain was condemned to possessing a spirit of ‘restlessness’.
Cain at heart was a wanderer and a vagabond and could not find a place of rest. He was condemned to constantly search for God’s presence, a God he rejected and in whom he rebelled against. This is so much like our current state of affairs, Franklin Delano Roosevelt described it this way, “We don’t know where we are going, but we are on our way.”
Cain went to the land of Nod, ‘a land of wandering’ and built a city, a city without God. The characteristics of a civilization without God is closeness without community. Cain began to have children in the hopes that surrounding himself with other people through procreation would give him what only God can provide. In the song, ‘Eleanor Rigby’ by the Beatles the lyrics describes it this way, “Look at all the lonely people, where do they all come from.” They come from the lineage of Cain
As we follow Cain’s family line we come to Lamech who had a heart of stone and was an arrogant self-seeker. The loneliest people I know are found in cities and often the saddest stories concern city dwellers. The problem with ‘godless cities’ are not the cities but the ‘godless’ that live in them. Our task is not to abandon our cities to the ‘godless’ but to build God’s kingdom in the midst of the godless.
THREE THINGS THAT KEEP US IN HARM’S WAY
Jesus said in Matt. 11:12, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” Simply said it means that the kingdom of God is for those who consider it worth having, whose mindset is not on themselves but on God, who realize that having their own personal gratification met could easily be at the cost of losing their souls and who therefore cast aside personal ambitions to sell everything to obtain the treasure or to possess that pearl of great price. Matt. 13:44-45
- There are three things that keep us heading into ‘Harm’s Way.’ The first one is pride. When I spoke of those forceful men and women who cast everything aside to obtain God’s kingdom I mean those who struggle against the powers of the flesh knowing that ‘…sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.’ Gen. 4:7. The world says it is only those who are weak that need God but in truth weakness is found in following the easier path of personal gratification rather than the path of righteousness and truth. A person needs to be strong to lay aside their pride, humble themselves and recognize their need for God. Pride will stop you from admitting that the choices you’ve made have led you into sin and that the only way out of the predicament you are currently in is to repent and come back to the one true God.
- The second thing that keeps you in harm’s way is hate. I assume that those who have drifted this far off course would never use such a harsh term to describe themselves, considering it was their pride that led them into this danger. Those who find themselves in this position often consider themselves to be paragon’s of virtue. Hate often leads a person to possess an irrational thought process that precedes destructive choices and actions. Hate is a terrible thing, you do not possess it on the other hand it possesses you.
- The last point we are bringing out today, that keeps us from a safe passage is resentment and self-pity. I can think of no one who likes to see these traits in others but I can think of no one who is blinder than those who personally possess these traits. Cain killed his brother over his resentment of God approving Abel’s offering over his own. He could not grasp the enormity of his action and take personal responsibility for Abel’s death rather he felt sorry for himself when God punished him for his crime. You probably have never murdered anyone but those who do not honor God as their Creator and spurn Jesus whom our Father sent to die as a sacrifice for our sin, have committed a far greater crime against God.
The dilemma that the secular and unsaved face is they rely on human reasoning as opposed to divine revelation, they continue to put the desires of their own will ahead of divine will; they are filled with pride because they think that divine humility shows them to be weak; they sink into being haters of Godly values instead of rising to the level of divine love; they give human excuses to their actions instead of seeking God’s grace; causing them to go into the land of Nod, ‘a land of wandering’ instead of seeking a return to safe harbor; they choose a life of loneliness instead of fellowship with the divine God. To go out from the Lord’s presence is to definitely find yourself in ‘Harm’s Way’
The good news is that the way back to safe passage is only a heartbeat away as Jesus is waiting with open arms calling and directing us into to that place of safe harbor.