Jump Start # 2905
Psalms 32:9 “Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you.”
There are days I feel like this old mule in our passage today. In fact, it seems that I have a lot more in common with that mule than I’d like to admit. There are a lot of things going on in our world today and for people like you and I, we do not know what the answers are.
As I write this, thousands of Americans are left behind in Afghanistan with a regime that is violent, hostile, and filled with hatred towards our country. What will happen to these Americans? I don’t know. I pray.
As I write this, parents and schools are coming unglued because of the issue of masks. Now there is talk about needing a booster shot. One expert says one thing and another says the opposite. Are they on the up and up or is there a political agenda behind this? I don’t know. I pray.
I went to bed last night with these thoughts swirling in my head. There are many questions being asked, but where are the answers? It’s like one of our hymns, “Troublesome times are here, filling men’s hearts with fear.” How true. What we long for is paradise. Everyone to get along. Life back to normal. But that’s not our world today, and has it ever been that way since Adam left the garden?
My grandparents had two sons overseas during World War II. One was my dad. There was a major depression going on. I expect they had just as many questions, but who had the answers? Peel back a few more layers in history and our great-great grandparents were living through the Civil War. A country that had separated. What would happen? Could it ever be patched up again? Why are people of the same land killing each other? So many questions, who had the answers? Then flip more pages back in history. The poor farmer in Europe, dealing with plagues and oppressive lords who squeezed life out of them. So many questions. Who had the answers? Now, flip through that Bible. Christians brought into a Roman coliseum as wild animals were released to kill them. So many questions. Who had the answers? Then Babylon. Then Assyria. Then the Philistines. Then the Egyptians.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
First, man will say anything, even if it is dishonest. He will do that to escape punishment, stay in office and keep things the way he wants them. Often leaders do not have the interests of the people at heart. They are self centered and are driven by power and control. So, it is hard to know what to believe when various leaders speak. Our answers are not found in them.
Second, trying times come and go. Our brief walk through history showed that. Each generation likely thinks that their times are the worst. Wars, diseases, disasters, and corruption have been a part of every generation. Ours is no different.
Third, the one who has the answers is God. He is always in control. He will bring about justice in His time. He can and has used believers and even non-believers to accomplish His will. No walls are too high, and no nation is too strong that God cannot move it to what He desires. God knows. God has the answers.
Fourth, our passage is more about depth of thought, consideration, observation, choices than it is knowing what is going on around us. A horse, a mule, we could add, a cow, a rooster, a pig, a dog, a cat run on instincts and not a conscience like humans. Animals are not made in the image of God. We are. When we walk through life without any consideration of what we are doing, who we are and where we are headed, we are acting like an animal. Animals can’t help themselves. That’s the way they are. But we are different. We can control our tongue, our impulses, our passions, and our choices. We are to think about influence, consequences, and eternity.
I heard a farmer tell me that once there was a very violent thunderstorm. His cows huddled under a tree. Yep. The tree was struck by lightning and most of the cows were killed. We hear that and think, “Dumb cows.” And, they are. They don’t understand that lightning can hit a tree. But you are I ought to be different. We have knowledge. We make consideration of things like that. We know.
And, what we ought to really know is that there is a God. He made us. He made us special. We are not part of the animal kingdom. We are uniquely made in the image of God. We are spiritual that happen to have a physical body. We are responsible to God. Our ambition is to please the Lord. When we die, that is not the end of our story. We live on and on and on. In eternity, we live forever, either with the Lord or apart from Him. It is that understanding that draws us to the Scriptures. It is that knowledge that makes us think before we speak. It drives us to be helpful, kind and serving to others.
We have understanding…even when the world around us brings so many questions.