Archive for October 15th, 2009

Bunny trail update:  Mordecai’s family had fully assimilated into the Syrian culture.  They could not physically be distinguished from the native people.  Adele Berlin, in The JPS Bible Commentary, wrote, “It seems likely, given the context, that Mordecai is a member of the king’s secret police.” This is in reference to him sitting at the King’s Gate, prior to overhearing Big and T (as I have un-affectionately named them) plotting the assassination attempt on Xerxes life.

In a letter from God to the exiles in Babylon, Jeremiah wrote these words (Jer 29:4-7):

4 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 

Seek:  An active verb.  To actively work towards something.

In a study on Esther from Beth Moore, I read this quote:

Mordecai’s action on the king’s behalf shows that a Jew can also be an excellent citizen.  “Those who, in modern times, deny any Christian interest in political processes cannot have read with sensitivity the stories of Mordecai, Joseph, and Daniel.  A conflict of interest indeed may come, and has come to many.  But each of us, until it does, can take to ourselves the exhortation which in God’s name the prophet Jeremiah addressed to the exiles in Babylon to ’seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you’.  (J.G. McConville, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Ester p. 163-4)”   (Beth Moore, Esther, p. 53)

I think there is great danger in characterizing political actions as a wrong focus for a Christian.  If you use ANYTHING that comes from a free government, than you are participating.  Example:  This very blog.  We have freedom of speech in this country.  In Canada, they do not.  Therefore you are benefiting from the politics/government of this country AND using it to further God’s kingdom (hopefully).  Those out there who don’t think we should be involved in politics, this question is for you:  Will God ever call someone to be in politics or government at any time?  If no, then you need to tell that to the Christians (and yes, there are some!) in Congress, the Statehouse, the White House.  If yes, then why?  Maybe, like Queen Esther, there is a greater goal, a higher purpose that we can’t see now (or ever).  Consider Proverbs 21:1:

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD;
he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.

And a few verses down from this, I find:

The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.

You know, God gives us freedom.  Freedom to succeed, freedom to fail.  Often we learn more from the latter than the former, but it is freedom nonetheless.  I am BLESSED to live in a country whose forefathers wrote in the blood of their families that they recognize that freedom.  I am humbled by the courage of those men and women who fought so I can have the freedom to speak out against the inhumanity of this world and FOR the only way to true freedom which is Jesus Christ.  This freedom makes it easier to impact  the rest of the world.  Look at the AIDS work in Africa, look at the great things that are being done by Rick Warren, Bono, every college student that supports clean water…all these things stem from the earthly freedoms we are blessed with.  Why would we NOT want to protect the single-most important concept (freedom, in case you missed it) that makes it easier to help those in need, easier to speak out against true injustice, and easier to tell people of the Way, the Truth, and the Light?  Will that freedom be misused?  Absolutely.  Then with God’s help, we must be stronger than the evil ones, love more than the pagans, and give bigger than the wealthiest.

I know we all love to read, but ultimately, our worldview must come from the pages of God’s word.  In it, we read of moderation in life, extremism in faith and grace, and conservatism in morals and judgment.  So, if American life allows me to live these Biblical ideas to the fullest, then I will fight also for that continued freedom.

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