Clear and Present Dangers
by Jeff Beneze
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“The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.” (Job 12:6 KJV)
Is the grass greener over there? Why is that? There is nothing that will unravel so many as seeing something good happening to someone who is in the wrong. Job completes his own thought even before the conclusion of the same chapter, but for us; there is a penetrating question that needs to be answered. Why are God's judgments not clear, present, and immediate? After all, He is all knowing and all seeing. Some say it is because God is both merciful and graceful even when we are still in our sins. This is true. Notwithstanding, could there be something in this for those of us watching the situation from this side of the fence? Who is the one guilty? The one in the sin or the one looking for the sinner's destruction? Be careful how you answer that question...
What happens when we think justice and right living have been totally forsaken? Proverbs 28:28 suggests that we go into hiding. Is there something in this for the one who stands true? The first thing it reveals is who still trusts in the Lord. Both because we cannot stand on our own strength when justice is perverted and we ought not manage the situation anyhow. Ought not? Getting a tighter grip on the situation is the first thing we want to do when we feel like it is out of control. When the situation has gone astray. We drop surrender and turn into a manager faster than our own mind can realize what just happened. No slow ripping clothing in a dramatic change from Dr. David Banner to the Incredible Hulk. We shift to manager so fast only hind sight can confirm the change actually happened. Now who is getting the chance to test their maturity in Christ?
This is a tough situation because the change happens so fast that all we can do is recognize that we are now on the wrong side of the fence and we back down. Why does it happen this way? Well, a couple of obvious answers are to strengthen the faith of the believer and if justice seems to disappear, who still trusts in the Lord and who turns into a manager thus reverting back? The challenge often boils down to a discussion of mechanics verses love. The mechanics of how things work is at the center of every manager. Every time you step on the brake; the car stops. If it does not, then it needs repaired. Same with the accelerator pedal. If it does not go, then something needs fixed. Why are things not more mechanical? Why does the baby not stop crying every time you put a bottle in his mouth? Though many times he does. We spend so much time, effort, and education to learn how things work. Why when we apply this formula or that recipe do things still not work?
Again and again we keep coming across this idea that Man starts everything from the mind and it outflows from there. We must be able to get our arms around something and slowly work the situation into something more manageable. Think about this for a second. That is how a snake eats. Though he has no arms or legs, he plans how to capture some of the fastest rodents and birds that can otherwise fly, encircles them, and slowly works them into a more manageable situation for digestion. Is it any wonder that the head of that creature should be crushed? The Love of God starts from the heart and works it's way out to the soul and strength. It eventually makes it to the mind. Love overcomes objections that would otherwise keep it out. Love has a raw power that completely remakes the objective reasoning capabilities that the mind uses to try to withstand it by. The beauty is that if the mind surrenders, it can see so much clearer. It can give with no limit. It can reason with no clouds. It can see objects from the perspective of an individual and from the community without contradiction. It can even then understand why it needed to be broken that it might be remade by the author and perfecter of life. Love has feet fitted with readiness and often receives a bruised heal for doing so, but it is always ultimately victorious over those ankle biting attacks it receives in the process.
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:12 KJV)
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