Clement was a disciple of Peter in the early days of Christianity. The natural circumstances in which we find ourselves may be different from those days but the issues and problems are the same. We wrestle not with flesh and blood as it says in Ephesians 6. We wrestle with principalities and powers and those have not changed in two thousand years. If they have changed somewhat, it is only that they have become stronger and more powerful and we have become less aware of their tricks.
In I Clement chapter three, verse 19, it says: In a word, envy and strife have overturned whole cities and rooted out great nations from off the earth.
In the verses before that, he goes through many different examples of envy and how it affected the person who envied or was the victim of envy. He mentions Cain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and his brothers, Moses, Aaron and MIriam, Dathan and Abiram, King Saul and David. And then he mentions that we don’t need to use ancient examples but we can see the very same spirit in our own time. Of course he was speaking of his time when he says: Through zeal and envy, the most faithful and righteous pillars of the church have een persecuted even to the most grievous deaths.
If we meditate on envy, we can see that envy drives our world. People envy one another. They envy the rich. The rich envy the happiness (?) of (some) of the poor. Nations envy one another. People are driven to emigrate from their countries in search of a better life because of what they see on the internet. Some of them may be driven by envy, others perhaps by a positive desire to live more freely and provide for their children. Wars are fought over envy. A lot of people live by envy. They see things advertised and they cannot rest until they have that thing. Business is driven by envy. It becomes clear to us why the love of money is the root of all evil.
But Clement goes on in the next chapters to discuss repentance. He says: Let us search into all the ages that have gone before us; and let us learn that our Lord has in every one of them still given place for repentance to all such as would turn to him.
We as individuals have to turn to the Lord. We have to give up our envy that drives our economy and business. Clement quotes Scriptures in his writings and I can’t say it any better than he and the original writers did so here it is: “Wash ye, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now an dlet us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red as crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. These things has God established by his Almighty will, desiring that all his beloved should come to repentance.”
We are the children of God. We are His beloved. It is our Father’s desire that we repent so that we can be near Him and have a good relationship with Him like any father and child. I hope you got something out of this.
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