The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 28:11-20 The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him. When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves. He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people. A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him. He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once. He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished.
If you were to open your bible to 1 Chronicles 12:32, you would read that the men of the tribe of Issachar were men who understood the times in which they lived. Could this be said of you? Can you look at the signs of the times and discern that, at least for the moment, the wicked have risen to power in our land? Using the power of observation and personal experience, coupled with God’s word revealing to you what lies in man’s heart, can you see that the winds of change have blown in a new season? Can you see that in 2021 it is not only not fashionable to be someone who holds to the bible as being eternally true and applicable for all of life, but also that those who subscribe to the rock solid truths of scripture have become enemies of those who want a society free from all moral and ethical restraints?
One could argue I suppose that even if your favorite politicians who hold to all your pet positions were in power, the offices would still be held by people who were sinners in God’s eyes, thus not “good”. However, what we seem to have brewing in our nation today is unlike anything I can recall seeing in my lifetime, regarding the official position of those in power. Those sitting in the seats of power today, are sinister, wicked. By wicked I mean folks perfectly comfortable with the murder of children from conception till moments after birth. Wickedness of the type which believes it is an act of compassion to give confused eight year olds hormone blockers in a vain attempt to change them into something they are not. Wickedness which will unleash these confused hormone blocked sinners upon unsuspecting kids in bathrooms and showers in public schools, in the name of equality. The type of evil I speak of will lie, kill, steal, and destroy lives in order to gain and keep hold of power. It is clearly satanic. And unfortunately for Christians, we live in a land in which all three branches of government are now led by people who openly hate God.
We need to be able to understand the times in which we live.
The wicked have risen to power, what do we do?
A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning a few Dangerous Boys, their fathers and I sat in my living room and discussed the ability to blend in to any environment. We spoke of nature, and how God has created some of the most fearsome predators and the most vulnerable prey with the ability to conceal themselves with camouflage. One such animal we looked at specifically was the cuttlefish. This marvelous little creature has an uncanny skill which enables it to change shape and color to blend in to any underwater environment, protecting it from predators and allowing it to fall upon unsuspecting prey. I can already hear the reply of some who would say “I see where you are going with this example. Ain’t gonna happen! This is merica! I have rights. I’m a free man, and I am not gonna hide from the gubment!” I know this is the sentiment of many, because it is the position I am tempted to swing to. However, what does wisdom say?
When the righteous triumph, there is great glory But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
Men hide themselves. Not cowards. Not pansies. Men. One specific, quick point of application of this principle which impacts all of us is how we conduct our online presence.
First off, Christians abandoning social media platforms en masse is not a proper response. We are to hide ourselves, not abandon our posts. Whether we like it or not, social media seems here to stay, and as has been seen in the last year, it is a powerful tool for social discourse. For some of you however, social media and engaging with the enemies of truth may be an idolatrous pastime. You may be spending time clicking the keyboard when loving your wife and disciplining your children ought to be the priority. You need to repent.
Maybe your balance on Facebook or twitter is even keeled, time wise, but your tendency is to be like a berserker on the field of battle, lobbing grenades here and there, swinging your sword at every snakes head which pops up, and you become the guy no one wants to have a conversation with, because rather than extending grace and charity to others, you are just looking to win. Maybe you are that person who feels they must tell everyone, every, single, minute detail of your life, down to the second in which events are taking place. TMI people.
Online, God’s enemies, the ones we spoke of earlier and a myriad of others who are themselves camouflaged, lurking in the shadows, are watching every single keystroke, like, and share you engage in on social media. And they will use it against you. People are losing their jobs because they tweet in support of Trump. Folks are getting cancelled for hate speech, saying things like “marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman”. Unless you enjoy the unemployment line, having the department of child services breathing down your neck, or the unnecessary added stress of death threats and Facebook pages created in your honor, as a Christian, you better learn quickly how to hide yourself in plain sight, not abandoning your post, but rather putting yourself in a position to strike a sure blow when the time is right.
I’ll close with Matthew Henry’s words on this passage: The advancement of the wicked is the eclipsing of the beauty of a nation: When the wicked rise and get head they make head against all that is sacred, and then a man is hidden, a good man is thrust into obscurity, is necessitated to abscond for his own safety; corruptions prevail so generally that, as in Elijah’s time, there seem to be no good men left, the wicked walk so thickly on every side.
If you are able, join me in kneeling as we confess the ways in which we fail to apply the wisdom of God’s word to our lives.
We thank You for being the premiere example of righteous, kind, loving authority. We thank You that in the exercise of Your authority You are working all things together for our good.
Father, please forgive us when we rail against the authorities placed over us, forgetting that it is You who removes Kings and establishes them. Please forgive us when, in our sin, we recklessly engage the enemy without a consideration for who is observing, how the engagement may impact our family and the church, and with little regard for the long-term ramifications of our words.
Father, please forgive us when led by the flesh rather than Your Spirit. Please help us to have discernment to know when and where to engage. Help us to be humble enough to realize that Your Kingdom will advance just fine without our sinful contributions.
Father, may the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts, and the keystrokes of our fingers be pleasing in Your sight.
In Jesus’s Name we pray, amen.
Please join me in standing and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to his church:
And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. - 1 Peter 2:24-25
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
Sunday 10:30 AM