Thursday, October 09, 2008


I grew up in the 60s and 70s - the "height" of the Cold War. I recall the air raid sirens shrieking out the last Friday of each month as my classmates and I huddled under our desks in preparation for the big one being dropped by the commies. I grew up with a distastes for all things communist. My grandparents, aunts and cousins lived in Poland - a communist country. I saw my father's disdain for all things not just Soviet but Russian. We visited the old country when I was 7. I don't recall much other than bringing an entire suitcase filled with coffee, toothpaste, vitamins, etc. for my father's family because they couldn't get these items in Poland. 

Dave and I were married in 1989 - the year the Wall fell. Oh, it was monumental. I had tears in my eyes while watching the newscasts of Germans pounding down the barrier between East and West Germany. I was ecstatic when the U.S.S.R. left Central Asia since my heart's desire was to bring the Gospel to the Muslims of that area. Gleefully we rejoiced at the demise of this failed government. Many a head nodded with  "I told ya so-communism couldn't last, it's so flawed"

I thought of all these things this past week when I heard Hugo Chavez's statements about capitalism falling. I'm sure he's fairly gleeful himself.

My latest Bible reading is in Judges. This is a hard book with disturbing images, graphically brutal and violent. I have many questions so Dave directed me to a commentary which has been quite helpful. 

Judges shows the spiral of Israel into sin. Each story of a prophet leads Israel farther and farther away from her trust relationship with the Lord. These are not role models - rather they are models NOT to follow.

I'm re-reading Gideon's battle the Midianites (Judges 7). In the commentary (The Communicator's Commentary: Judges, Ruth by David Jackman) Jackman concludes this chapter highlighting the fall of Communism (emphasis mine):
Who would have predicted the changes in the Soviet Union a decade ago [this commentary was published in 1991]? It seems likely that we have only begun to witness the social, economic, and political upheaval which, under glasnost and perestroika, must inevitably multiply. Yet for decades the Marxist system seemed an impregnable fortress. What we failed to realize was that it had the seeds of its own decline already planted in its atheistic philosophy. The same was true of Hitler's Nazi Germany earlier in the twentieth century. And the same is true of our western materialism, on both sides of the Atlantic, in so far as our headlong pursuit of wealth and pleasure sets us in opposition to the living God. 

The God who raised up Midian, in order to discipline his people Israel, still rules the world for the good of his church. That does not mean a cosy, comfortable existence is guaranteed, as both Scripture and history bear witness. 
Have we, the U.S. church, placed our security and hope in our method of government? 

It is a good government. But I wonder if the rug being pulled out from under us is a blessing, reminding us that God is sovereign over ALL governments and works His glory out through ALL governments. One government system is as another in His kingdom - all tools to work His perfect will. I don't think I can be swayed from saying our form of government is the most congenial and workable for the Gospel but in the same breath I would have to acknowledge that the materialism and consumerism rampant in our system leads us to self-dependence and away from complete trust in God. 

Our system is not our salvation. That role is left for God alone.

Romans 8:28 says:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
After reading Judges I thought of this verse and for the first time I heard the words "the good" and didn't hear what I usually hear - "the easy". God's will works for our good which does not mean easy. 

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Oh Barbie...What a good reminder for all of us. God's workings are for our good (believers) as He is the only one who knows what is best for us and that word BEST is hugh and all encompassing. This is soooo much easier to think and write about than to go through the situations (living day to day) in which we find ourselves. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit guiding and coming along side us and we are never alone.
Great post!