4 An evildoer heeds wicked lips. A liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. - Proverbs 17:4
For Christmas I received the book Eichmann in Jerusalem, by Hannah Arendt. It is about the 1961 trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, who was in charge of the trains that took the Jews to the death camps. What is shocking about Eichmann, was that he did not believe what the Nazi's said, or that he hated the Jewish people, he had Jewish relatives that he helped to escape to Switzerland. What makes Eichmann truly evil, was that he did not care about the people on the trains. He knew that they were going to be killed, he had been to the camps, he just did not care. He only joined the Nazis because he needed a job and that job was to arranged for the killing of 6 million people. If Hitler would have told Eichmann to send the people to Disneyland, if it had existed, he would have done that. His defense was he was just doing his job.
Evil comes in many forms, hate can be one, but also apathy to the suffering of others is another. Do not let evil enter in to your life, because you do not care.
1 Sing to God a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. - Psalm 98:1
The year 2020 has ended and 2021 has started. I had such great plans for 2020, but than came COVID. With the coming of several COVID vaccines, comes hope to getting back to normal, this year. Yet despite all of the setbacks, God is still doing marvelous things in the life of His people. We are still helping people in need, we are worshiping God in new ways, and we have come to see that we need God's power to cope with life's unplanned events. We do not know what the new year will bring, but we can know that God will continue to do marvelous things!
8 But don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but he is patient with us, not wishing that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance. - 1 Peter 3:8-9 (WEB)
Advent is finally here and the year 2020 will soon be over. I had great hopes for his year, as did many others. Yet the plans did not workout: church services were canceled, weddings were postponed or cutback, school graduations and parties were canceled, and even the 4th of July celebration in Franklin were reduced. The year 2021 can not come fast enough, for me.
The Jewish people waited for hundreds of years the the promised savior to come and free them, from their enemies. Emmanuel (God with us), could not come fast enough. To them God seemed slow in acting.
We too seem to think God is not moving fast enough for us. We want things now, and do not understand what is taking God so long to act. Yet Peter knew that God was working for the best. He wants all people to come to repentance and so He acts in ways that are best for all of us.
With the coming of Advent we prepare for the birth the the Christ child, Jesus. The plans we have today will most probably be different from what we wanted or hoped, from the start of the year, yet Christmas will still come and we will still have “God with us” this Christmas season. God is not slow but still at work through the child born in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ.
13 Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name. - 1 Chronicles 29:13 (WEB)
There does not look like we have much to be thankful for, this Thanksgiving, in 2020. Storm after storm on the coasts of America and inland winds. Wild fires rage in the Western United States. Canceling holiday events is now the normal thing to do. Killings and protests in the cities of our nation, and a disease, that as I write this, has killed over 230,000 Americans. Not much to be thankful for, it seems.
Yet King David, as he was dying, called on all to give thanks to God and what he had done and was going to do for the nation of Israel. David saw the “big” picture of God. Not that the problems that we face today are unimportant and do not need to be fixed, but we have many things to be thankful for: a bountiful harvest, more food than we need, and family and friends. We live in a land with many freedoms, of speech, assembly and religion. So take time this thanksgiving season to thank God for the blessings He has given us.
4 Then the king said to me, “What is your request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. - Nehemiah 2:4 (WEB)
Here in the United States we have truly been blessed by God. One blessing is the right to vote. Nehemiah was the cup bearer to King Artaxerxes, of Persia. When he had to ask the king for a request, the first thing he did was to pray. With an election coming next month, it is important for us to pray before we act. So often we go into important events without prayer.
Nehemiah knew what was in his heart, yet he still prayed before acting. As we, here in the United States, go to vote, let us ask God to give us the guidance that is needed for us to cast our vote in ways that will bring about God's will and kingdom.