Sunday, July 3, 2016

Unpopular Truth

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 184:  Today, I am grateful for leaders who speak truth... even if truth is unpopular. 

Since it is the 4th of July weekend...I am sort of breaking my "no politics in gratitude" rule, keeping it friendly for all. Perhaps, it is more of an observation of state of the union and not a political stand. 

I love this quote from Ronald Reagan:

"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

If there ever is an arena where truth is lacking, it is the powerful, political arena. Personal agendas dominate decisions made with little thought truly being for "the good of the people". Only a select few find a better life at the other end of the day. Instead of doing "the right thing", votes are thrown toward the agendas that benefit those who already have most of the benefits and the power. The voiceless have little to no voice. 

"One nation under God" was intended to be a salute that we live in a land where citizens and visitors are free to seek and worship God in the way that they know and understand him. The separation of church and state was tenant they held close and high above many others as they hammered out the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.  The intention was never to "exclude" him and kick him out. Respect for another's religious beliefs was dear to the hearts of our founding fathers. 

Because they were human, things were not perfect. But, they were very sincere. Many knew the word of God well and could quote passages with understanding. I wonder if these came up?

"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people." -Proverbs 14:34 (ESV)

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." -Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV) 

I had a friend point me to the Proverbs 31:8 in the Common English Bible translation and I love it: "Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable."

Giving voice to the voiceless.  Jesus was bold in his directions to care for the children, the widows, the orphans, the sick, the hungry and the needy.  He repeated himself often on these matters. He meant it. 

Jesus said he did not come to abolish the "Law of Moses" but to fulfill what had been foretold be the prophets. He came to make a way when the desert of doubt and disbelief. There were very few left seeking his face. They were too focused on their own wants, desires and success. Their ways and their worship had become habit, expected and an action without any real heart or sincerity. They still cried out to God in trouble and hoped that he heard them, but relationship with God had been lost in religion and the politics of the day.

Jesus sums it up:
Love me. Love each other. 

Love never fails. Love always wins. 

They say history repeats itself. Does it? What can we learn from the words of the prophets? What lessons...and warnings... are recorded written down in the chronicles of the those recording the results of a nation in bold defiance or simply ignoring God?  

There are seasons where "God is silent". Present and engaged, but silent. At the end of those seasons, he moves in might ways. 

"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place."  2 Chronicles 7:14-15 

Can greatness be measured by how we treat the voiceless?  In a world where the squeaky wheel gets oiled. Who are the voiceless? Do we protect the persecuted? Are we seeking His face? Are we praying for those leading to be convicted by the Holy Spirit? 

I am grateful for those with the guts to speak truth...even if it is unpopular.

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