Okay, let me preface this post by saying that while I know I should be in tune with the details of what’s going on around the world, I tend to not watch or read the news as much as I should. Not making excuses, but the reality of it is, I am a highly sensitive soul and am deeply affected by that which I see. I carry the weight of the burdens of those I love. And sometimes it just feels like the weight of the burdens of the world is just too much to bear.
Now that being said, I am aware of what is going on at the border. That families are being separated. That little children are being ripped away from the ones who care for them. There is one photo I saw of a probably three-year-old girl crying that my heart has not forgotten. It will stay in my mind’s eye for a while. Maybe forever.
I realize that this whole “situation” is complicated. I understand both sides of the “issue.” But when it comes down to it, I just don’t think that we are handling this in the best way possible. And my heart has felt heavy all week about it.
something to ponder…
This morning I opened to the Old Testament where I have been reading. I got to 2 Chronicles chapter 28. And there was a passage that gripped my attention:
So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly. The men designated by name took the prisoners, and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with clothes and sandals, food and drink, and healing balm. All those who were weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow countrymen at Jericho, the City of Palms, and returned to Samaria.
My Bible has an insert that is titled “Limits of a Just War” that reads:
Advocates of a “Just war” theory sometimes cite the fascinating story in this chapter. God sanctioned Israel’s attack on Judah, but the invaders from the North went too far. They slaughtered many civilians and carried away others as captives. A prophet rebuked Israel’s army for their crimes committed “in a rage that reaches to heaven.” The Israelites had fought a war with a just end–carrying out God’s punishment–but used cruel and unjust means in waging it.
The prophet convinced the Israelites to give up plunder and prisoners and make restitution. They fed the prisoners from Judah, gave them clothes, sandals, and medicine, and put them on donkeys to return home. This scene is one of the few in 2 Chronicles that shows the Northern Kingdom in a favorable light.*
Are we fighting a “just war”?
I don’t have the answers, but this is a question I think is worth all of us pondering.
I have seen a reaction from some celebrities on social media that seems, well, counterproductive. One in particular posted a photo on Instagram of herself wearing a baseball cap that reads “[4-letter-word] Trump.” And another posted a caption that read “Not my President.”
And well, the fact of the matter is, he is their President. He is our President. He’s my President and he’s yours until he’s not anymore.
I once read a devotional by my prior pastor from Texas, Jim Denison, in which he wrote something along the lines of this–we are not called to agree with everything our President does, but we are called to pray for him.
The only way we are going to fight a “just war,” and the only way this world is going to heal is if we lift each other up in prayer.
Would you join me today in lifting up our President, our government officials, and all those at the border and affected by this difficult situation?
There was one other verse in 2 Chronicles 28 that stood out to me. And that was this:
But aren’t you also guilty of sins against the Lord your God?
There’s a song we sing in church, my favorite line of which says this:
That’s why there’s grace.
We all need God’s great grace. May we all extend that same grace to others.
Again, I am not trying to write a “political post” here. I am simply writing some Truth. I awoke this morning, my mind already pondering this dilemma. And then God revealed these things to me this morning, and I simply wanted to share them with you.
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*Excerpt from The Student Bible, New International Version. Copyright 1986, 1992, 1996 by The Zondervan Company. Notes by Phillip Yancey + Tim Stafford. Page 487.
Photo taken from our recent trip to Rome. The Christians put an end to the horrendous “games” being fought for entertainment at the Colosseum, which resulted in the death of over a million men. They planted this cross there.