DayBreaks for 08/30/19: When the Good Falls Apart
NOTE: Galen is on vacation for the next couple weeks and may not respond to any comments until he returns on 9/9/19.
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2009:
The other day in a Bible study that I was teaching, I was marveling about Enoch. Yep, Enoch…the fellow who gets approximately 3 verses in Scripture. You know him as one of the two men who never “died” – God took him without his death because, as Genesis puts it, “Enoch walked with God.” What struck me about Enoch is that God didn’t choose to tell us stories about how Enoch lived out his faith. There are no great deeds of recorded faith in action such as we see over and over with the patriarchs, or with Isaiah, Daniel or David. I’m not sure what we should make of that, but if you look at the names of those who were contemporary with Enoch, it’s pretty easy to see that he lived in very wicked times…leading up to the great flood. And we know that the world was getting more filled with evil as the flood approached. Still, Enoch managed to live with God. And maybe the reason we’re not told of great exploits of faith is because he just lived a faithful life, persevering in the midst of a rising tide of evil, walking with God in the midst of a wicked and evil generation.
As we talked about Enoch, some in the class started reflecting on how wicked the world is that we live in – and the talk almost became despairing. (It seems to do that often with older folks – and this was a class for seniors. Perhaps it is easier as we age to look back at a time in our lives many years ago and think that it was better when in fact it may not have really been all that different, I don’t know.) Some said that they thought it took greater faith to do things similar to Abraham (leaving the only home you’ve known for a far, unknown and strange land, being willing to sacrifice a son, etc.) than to walk faithfully every day. I tend to think that they are wrong about that. It seems that as humans, we have an uncanny knack to be able to rise to heights when the situation calls for it (not always, of course!). It may take greater faith in the long run to walk faithfully day after day…for 365 years in Enoch’s case…than to put one great display of faith together for a passing moment.
Regardless, Psalm 11:3-4 says, When all that is good falls apart, what can good people do? The LORD is in His holy temple; the LORD sits on His throne in heaven. David asks the question that so many of us have asked at some time or another in our lives: when all that is good and decent and holy seems to be falling apart, what are we to do? You’ll notice that David didn’t then launch into a list of “Do A, B and C to turn things around.” Instead, he answers the question with a declarative statement: God is in His temple, enthroned on high. What does that have to do with his question? Simply this: God’s rule isn’t affected by the storms of our lives and our problems don’t perplex Him in the slightest. That’s not to say He doesn’t care about them, but He knows perfectly well what to do when the good falls apart. He is still on the throne, issuing decrees to His servants and angels. While this world and all that is in it may go down the tubes, God’s rule won’t. Human wreckage doesn’t discourage Him. In fact, a quick look at the life of someone like Joseph shows us that God specialized in turning disaster into triumph.
If you are considering how bad the world is, let me try to re-direct your thinking and your vision upward – to the throne room of God, where He still, and always will, sit in Majesty!
PRAYER: We get fearful as we see the tidal waves of evil beating upon our culture, upon the church, upon our own lives, Lord. Help us to redirect our vision when times are tough and to remember that you remain on the throne now and forever! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>