DayBreaks for 2/04/2019: Two Generations Closer
From the DayBreaks archive, 2009:
Bowing before the “god of open-mindedness,” this generation has been slow to admit that what we believe determines how we act. PBS film critic and columnist Michael Medved recently shared this anecdote out of his Jewish heritage:
“A few years ago, the illustrious Rabbi Jacob Kamenetzky made a trip to Israel accompanied by his teenage grandson. Ironically, these two deeply religious people had been seated in the airplane next to a prominent Israeli socialist leader and outspoken atheist, who had spent his whole life fighting against Orthodox values.
“After the plane reached its cruising altitude, the cynical atheist traveler couldn’t help noticing the way the teenage boy attended to the needs of his aged, bearded grandfather. He got up to get the old man a glass of water, helped him remove his shoes and put on some slippers, and otherwise demonstrated that the rabbi’s comfort represented his primary concern.
“At one point, as the boy got up for yet another errand on behalf of the old man, the skeptical stranger could contain himself no longer. ‘Tell me something,’ he asked the rabbi. ‘Why does your grandson treat you like some kind of a king? I have a grandson, too, but he wouldn’t give me the time of day.’
“‘It’s very simple,’ the old man replied. ‘My grandson and I both believe in a God who rules the universe and created all things, including the first man. That means that in the boy’s eyes, I’m two generations closer to the hand of God Himself. But in the eyes of your grandson, you’re just two generations closer to a monkey.’ “
Medved told this story as if it were true. I can’t vouch for that. But it certainly reflects truth. A person’s theology (what they think about God) determines what they think, and therefore what they do, about everything else. It should not surprise us that the behavior of people who don’t believe in God is so often ungodly. Could it be that to make our streets safe again, we need to be building more churches instead of more jails? – Richard A. Steele and Evelyn Stoner, comp., Bible Illustrations – Heartwarming Bible Illustrations, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1998), p 76-77.
Galen’s Thoughts: Some Christians think that it’s okay to believe in evolution, that there’s no harm in it. I would agree with micro-evolution – we do change over time, but not from one species to another. We’ve gotten taller in the past 100 years, we live longer than we did 100 years ago. And those and other changes are even more pronounced the farther back in history that you go. But amoeba to multi-celled organism to fish to reptile to monkey to man? No, not now, not in 10 trillion years! God said, “Let them bring forth after their own kind” – and that somewhat puts a limit on what any creature can do reproductively.
The way the orthodox Jewish son treated his grandfather was related to his beliefs about life, God, creation – and the value of people. If there is no God, or if we are not made in God’s image, there is no reason to spare a human life any more frequently than to spare the life of an ant. In fact, both would be of equal value – nothing – if we’re just products of time and chance.
I also like the grandfather’s perspective: “I’m two generations closer to the hand of God Himself…” I’m two generations closer to the direct creative effort of God when He made man than my grandchildren are. But by the grace of Jesus, we can be equally as close to going to His home!
Prayer: Lord, guard our hearts against human foolishness and let us treasure all that is the work of Your hands, but especially those made in Your image! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>