Recently in my studies, I've been reminded of how one can do a seemingly right thing, yet accomplish it in a very wrong method. As a matter of fact, the only sure and right way to know that something is accomplished rightly is in the manner revealed to us in God's Holy Word. A graphic example of doing a right thing in a wrong way is found in I Chronicles 13. King David made the call to bring the Ark of God back to Jerusalem where it most certainly belonged. However, he didn't bother with the counsel of God on the issue. In the story, we know a fellow named Uzza reaches to save the Ark when the oxen stumbled as it was in transport. Even though his action seemed responsible, it cost him his life.
Some might think, how could God take the life of Uzza if he were trying to save His sacred Ark? Certainly, God gave specific instructions for this procedure. He meant business about wanting them to be followed.
Is our Heavenly Father any less Holy today? Of course not! However, so often it seems that His grace has been turned into a method of doing any thing in the world that seems right to man and expecting a blessed result. Surely, the Father God will not be mocked nor taken lightly.
There may be many noble projects and Christian endeavors that will benefit the well being of mankind. Yet, if these notions are not based upon the principles of God's Word and carried out within His guidelines, it's becomes nothing more than a humanitarian effort. And not only so, but as in the case of Uzza, if it touches something of God's holy order, there could be serious repercussions.
The point I'm taking the long way around to reach is none other than this:
Levitcus 20:7 "Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you."
Colossians 3:17 "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him."
How important it is to check each thought and motive by His Word. His way is the only right way.
"I do not believe that the power...of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering... A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power...should...be steadfastly resisted...
Though the people support the government, the government should not support the people. Charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly... demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents...among our people of that kindly sentiment...which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood." ~ Grover Cleveland, 1887
I made mention in last weeks post my belief that we are just not the people we use to be in our American thinking. We had certain core beliefs that formed our everyday lives, developed our world view; all which were nourished from the Christian faith that gave birth to this nation.
I know this rubs many the wrong way today, but it's just our history. Where would President Cleveland find such thought that would bring him to this view of Government aid? Might we find in the Christian Faith?
2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1Ti 5:16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve
them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are
The principles we lived by were formed in us by our very environment, the culture in which lived; which was distinctly Christian. We were a very compassionate people, yet we also recognized our personal responsibility to ourselves and others. We saw the need to receive outside help a thing not to desire; when such help was necessary, we turned to our families, not to our government.
President Cleveland realized our prevalent tendency to let government step in and do this work; for it seems government has so much more power to serve than peoples personal responsibilities can obtain. So we are tempted to relinquish our personal responsibilities to the government. But in doing so we have now to a great degree become a people dependent upon this government. It is a system that is not conducive with our founding principles nor our Biblical faith.
I know to many this seems unkind, we have drifted so far it is hard for us to understand the way we were in our beginning. It is not that government should neglect social needs when it can help, but it should be done in a limited way and from a local level. People should be encouraged to take their responsibilities and be taught to be self-sufficient. We are now a people that not only look to government assistance first, it has become our only source of which to flee.
Our families now are not of the nature in many cases, willing to sacrifice what it takes to help and care for a family member; they too look to the government to take care of their family members so they can be free to be about their own lives. I know sacrifice is a bad word, but freedom cannot be won without it, nor can it be maintained without it. If we are not willing to make the sacrifices of personal responsibility, we will not retain our freedom to do so.
I know it is easier just to let our government take care of all the social needs of our people, and we can be about our own lives. Its just not as simple as that, that which we think seems so easy does not come without price. Each time we relinquish personal responsibility we relinquish personal freedom for us or someone else.
Our current state leaves us in a very difficult situation, we are so dependent upon government now it will be very difficult to pry ourselves loose from it, if we can do it at all. But if we are going to, we must begin moving back to the way we use to think, slowly taking back our own responsibility and freedom, one step at a time.
May God bless each of you,