In this morning’s paper there was an opinion piece by Mr. Stan Simpson. In the article Mr. Simpson wrote about the troubled life of Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots’ football player accused of murder. The major thrust of the article was about the difficulty that Mr. Hernandez had because his father died when he was a teenager. Mr. Simpson used that case as a lead in to discuss “the crisis in masculinity.” In his discussion, he quoted a minister and former football player who said that “Forty percent of all children go to bed without their biological dads in the house.” Such a statistic is tragic. We all have images in our minds of daddy coming home from work and greeting the children, taking them fishing or helping them learn something such as car repair, carpentry or even math.
Journalists are fond of bringing up such statistics without thinking logically about what the full scope of the issue entails. The foundation of the whole issue presupposes a traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Our society is in the process of eliminating support of traditional marriages and yet authorities in that society decry the problems that are created by eliminating traditional marriage. These days if you support traditional marriages, you find yourself on the firing line. I find that audaciously hypocritical.
Stable traditional marriages between a man and a woman are known to produce stable and responsible children. Troubled marriages, single parenthood and other difficult situations statistically bring about greater numbers of troubled children who become troubled adults. Our society is disintegrating from its core, which ought to be stable traditional marriages. You can’t trash marriage and then complain when the results of trashing it show up in society.
By the way, I don’t think that the Hernandez case is a good example to use as a lead in to this topic. He and his brother went to school with my children. A lot of people have a lot of different opinions of what went wrong in Mr. Hernandez’ life. In the end, only he and God and maybe a few close associates know what really went on. It would be better to simply leave it alone and let the courts work it out at this point.
I was thinking about the word ‘hear’ lately. God is so kind. He always listens and hears what we say to Him. When I listen to my friend, he or she speaks while I listen. Then I speak and he or she listens. So, do I listen to and hear what God has to say?
He hears us:
- Ps 18:6 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.
- Ps 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.
- 2 Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted (Is 49:8), and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Let’s hear Him as Elijah did:
- 1 Ki 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
- De 12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
- Jo 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear th evoice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
- Jo 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
- He 3:7, 8 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness.
It’s a two way street, a sweet conversation. Speaking, listening – listening, speaking. In this noisy world, it’s hard to calm down and really listen. It is so worth the effort. When our life honors Him and He hears our problems, He pulls out all the stops when He answers. The rest of Psalm 18 describes His answer when there is a just cause.
The nightly news is replete with information about the record drought this summer. It’s important to watch these stories because the reporters cover the story from a variety of angles. You can see many of the ramifications of such an historic summer. As you watch the different segments of the story, it gives you ideas on who and what needs prayer. The farmers, most definitely, but also the poor animals who are hungry and hot, the cows and the chickens. Many professions are affected besides the farmers, including river boat pilots on the mighty Mississippi and other businesses that depend on it as a resource of some sort. There is much to pray about this summer.
At the same time, we have to consider why this is happening. Scripture tells us that the land is full of adulterers (it is) and that because of swearing the land mourns and the pleasant places are dried up (Jer 23:10). In our modern world, our whole lifestyle is adulterated. Even our crops are adulterated. Scientists engineer the seeds that are sown in the ground and the companies that own the engineered seeds make sure that only their seeds are used. God knows that the seeds were perfect and pure before all of the engineering. He sees the bigger picture that the engineered seeds are not good for our bodies. What is He to do? He loves His creation but we are destroying, not only ourselves but others and the land with us.
The fertilizer required to maintain these engineered crops is running off into the ground water and in its turn is destroying the river that it runs into. The mighty Mississippi carries this pollution into the Gulf of Mexico and vast regions of this beautiful body of water are now dead zones. What is our Father to do? You could say that instead of a green thumb, we have a black thumb that destroys everything that we touch.
God loves His creation the way He created it. If you were God, what would you do to get the land to return to the way it should be? So far, everything that mankind has tried hasn’t worked. No one takes the naysayers and the protesters seriously. Therefore, God HAS to send a strong message to the ones who are the most instrumental in its destruction. What if the drought in the Midwest is actually a blessing? An intial thrust of change in the way things are done? God is certainly drawing attention to this most critical area of our country and showing us the value of this rich farm land. We need to return it to its pristine beauty of only a few short centuries ago. It is entirely possible to reverse what we have done to the land. God always gives us a way out. He tells us multiple times in the Old Testament that if we turn our hearts to Him, He will hear and heal our land.
God’s way is the perfect way. His garden was the perfect one. We can turn back the clock of destruction by turning back to our Father and letting His way be true.