We won’t get to God’s playfulness for a while. But I really have to set the stage. After that thought is complete, I will describe something on my heart for my country. I have thought of making it a separate post, but the truth is, both are in my heart at the same time. And He knows my days.
A friend of mine, with leanings towards prophecy, came over to visit. He cared, and wanted to see for himself how I was doing. Things had been very tough, with the length of the journey. Our spirits were raised by a magnificent property. I was simultaneously impressed and a little fearful, because of the opulence of this property.
The good thing about my friend is that he has a full understanding, if that is possible, of the sovereignty of God. You only have to read the Bible to know that some of the most unlikely candidates were blessed. The Bible accounts usually go on show a few of the reasons why those blessings took place, but some don’t. My friend also knows that God does not struggle with money. And whether He gives us a house that costs $50,000, or $200,000, or $3.5 million all depends on his plan for His kingdom and for us.
After my friend left, I was encouraged, but strangely also in a very dark place. It doesn’t make any sense that I was encouraged and hopeless, but I was. This lasted for couple days.
This morning, I heard what sounded like an exasperated God say to me “Go get a $10 scratch-off gambling ticket, and you can buy a house with whatever you win.” I was afraid that I had pushed Him too far. I was also afraid that what I would be able to afford with the winnings would be pretty bad. But I went, and purchased the $10 ticket, praying the whole time.
There are two houses, that are very nice houses, that my son and I both like from their descriptions online. I bought the $10 ticket that would allow for the purchase of one of the houses, only to find, to my horror, that it was a ticket that would result in the total, but spread over 10 years. So even though I would eventually have the money to purchase the house, I would not have the money in the first year to put down a sufficient down payment to gain a mortgage. So I bought a second $10 ticket, and secretly promised to Him to give most of the money away if we could just get the down payment to start us on the way to a mortgage.
I came home, and my son was waiting to scratch off the tickets with me. He scratched off the first one, and it was not a winner, of anything. He scratched off the second, and it is not easy to determine if it won anything. It is very convoluted. But it does have a barcode for the prize, if there is one.
My son was discouraged but also had faith that God was in the process of doing something, and was going to do that soon.
So I came out from his bedroom perplexed. I was still perplexed about the frustrated and irritated attitude that seem to come from Him initially. It just isn’t like Him. I was also perplexed about following His instructions, not exactly, but involving an honest mistake. We seemed to come up with nothing. Which again is far from the promise of “I will make your life like a sunset”. Then I heard Him say “I didn’t tell you that you couldn’t buy a $20 ticket”. That is when I realized that God was being playful. I told my son what God told me, and he realized that was right. He knows about God’s playfulness as well. But I’m not sure either one of us have ever seen God’s playfulness on this scale. But then again, we measure with scales, but God doesn’t.
$20 tickets have higher prizes than $10 tickets. So as I went to get some things for dinner, I purchased a $20 ticket. That one didn’t win anything either. So now I’m wondering where God’s playfulness will take us. I’m actually excited about where God’s playfulness will take us.
The United States, where I live, has been torn apart by a number of factors. I believe that the chief among them has to do with Micah 6:8
“He has told you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness,
And to walk humbly with your God?”(NASB)
We have fallen down and all of these areas. We have failed in areas of justice. We have failed to be kind, and to get His input on kindness, even as we have failed to get His input on justice. Some things appear just and kind, but also bear a striking resemblance to empty words that appeared just and kind many years ago.
As I was trying to explain to a friend from another country that arrogance can have different forms. My friend was very put off by President Trump’s arrogance. I don’t disagree that President Trump speaks, as far as I can tell, ignorantly and arrogantly. When I look at the other candidate from 2016, few people seem to recognize how arrogant she was.
As I was researching candidates in 2016, the Constitutional party candidate had video clips of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with commentary. One of those clips was of Hillary Clinton saying that some of her actions, though illegal, were okay because of the position that she occupied. The commentary was that she was the first major leader of a first world country to publicly disavow the Magna Carta (which says that the laws of those who govern are the same as the laws of the governed.)
Also, her “private” email server just boggled my mind. I worked in a classified environment many, many years ago. I worked with things at much lower classifications than what she did. Many of the things that I worked on were “uninteresting” to hostile foreign powers, compared to the things that she worked on. I would’ve gone to jail if I had been so careless with the things that I worked on.
But beyond that, I have worked for more than 20 years in the field of information security. Maintaining an email server that would host that much information that is that sensitive is more than I could design, or maintain with even a small group of very good people. I came to the conclusion that she was most likely extraordinarily arrogant to attempted it, or had some things that she most desperately wanted to hide from oversight. Most likely, it was both.
But I don’t believe that the candidates were the problem in and of themselves. But instead the forces of evil that have manipulated the media, and the major political parties. Those same forces of evil have also manipulated the American people to tolerate these types of candidates, and the political shams and scandals that are so common.
So I come back to Micah 6:8, we are missing the “walking humbly with our God” part. We have lost sight of truth, indeed the Person who claimed to be (and is) “The way, the truth, and the life“
I feel like Nehemiah who said “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have sinned against You; I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to Me and keep My commandments and do them, though those of you who have been scattered were in the most remote part of the heavens, I will gather them from there and will bring them to the place where I have chosen to cause My name to dwell.’ They are Your servants and Your people whom You redeemed by Your great power and by Your strong hand. O Lord, I beseech You, may Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and the prayer of Your servants who delight to revere Your name, and make Your servant successful today and grant him compassion before this man.” (NASB)
Only my heart is broken both for my country, but also for having participated in the sins of this country. I struggle to give God credit for good things in my life because I am afraid of offending people, and I am afraid what some people might say or do to me for identifying myself as a follower of Jesus. Sometimes, I go along with the withholding of justice, because the majority of others have judged someone as guilty. And I know that they have not invested to the time to investigate, and understand. I have gone along as well when people were encouraged to embrace sin. I know that this kind of “acceptance” is not kind, in that it does not without judgment, or shaming, to walk with the person until they know it is safe to look at why they are slaves to sin. I have also been greedy, and self-centered in so many other ways. And I have twisted the truth as well. I can’t throw a stone at anyone.
Nehemiah chapter 2 has an analog today for the people of this nation, though the king that I serve is the King of kings, and I am not His cupbearer.
And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. I said to the king, “If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor before you, send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me, the queen sitting beside him, “How long will your journey be, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me, and I gave him a definite time. And I said to the king, “If it please the king, let letters be given me for the governors of the provinces beyond the River, that they may allow me to pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress which is by the temple, for the wall of the city and for the house to which I will go.” And the king granted them to me because the good hand of my God was on me. (NASB)
I am sad of heart. I am not as concerned literally about my father’s tombs, as I am about all of the great people, who did fatherly things to benefit and bless me with freedom, and opportunity, and unhindered access to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This country is being trampled on. It is being torn down. It is being burned and destroyed by lies and laziness. And I am asking my King, if He would provide the resources to rebuild. Rebuild His family, with His children. Rebuild the foundations of walking humbly with Him, honoring His Son, Jesus, and freely being merciful, and kind, and just.