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Ask for mercy, forget the change

Much ado has been made over Christina Aguilera’s fumble on the National Anthem at Super Bowl 2011. Comments range from “unacceptable, disgraceful” to “it was a mistake; give her a break!”

Similar gaffes by several of our nation’s political leaders have also been the subject of recent controversy: misunderstandings concerning when our Constitution was ratified, the number of states in our United States, and the three branches of government. On the one side, folks insist we need to be less critical, while others feel strongly our political leaders have a) lost sight of the tenets that made our nation what it is today; b) lost respect for our country, it’s flag, and everything it stands for; and c) ignored our history and forgotten where we came from.

Funny how we always want change, isn’t it? Remember how both major parties in the last presidential election campaigned on “change” because that’s what everyone wanted? It’s a part of our sinful nature, I think. We’re never quite satisfied with our lot in life, it seems.

Interestingly, God’s people in the Old Testament complained incessantly about their leaders, the conditions God put them in, their loss of freedoms, and on and on. Yet, over and over, they ignored God’s laws, His directives, and His love for them. And over and over, they ended up in bondage, eventually crying out to Him for relief.

The Bible records a plethora of examples: God’s people have always wanted change!

• Adam and Eve lived in a paradise where all their needs were met, but they decided it’d be way cool if they could be like God. We all know that story.

• God forgave, loved, and watched over His people, but they chose to do their own thing and eventually ended up in bondage.

• God rescued His people from bondage, but they grumped about how He did it.

• He provided food every day, but they wanted something else…oh, man! manna again?

• While He met on the mountain with their leader, they staged a little demonstration below. They collected their valuables (which He had provided in the first place) and created their own God…naah, we’ve never done that, have we?

• God loved His people, forgave them, and watched over them, but they kicked and squealed till they got a king who would rule over them.

• God gave them Kings and they ended up in bondage again.

• For centuries, they looked forward to the promised Savior, but when God sent Him, they called Him a liar and a blasphemer.

• He loved them (us); they (we) crucified Him.

• They posted guards at the tomb to ensure His death; He rose to give us life!

Fast-forward to today. Will any leader save us from ourselves? How did we get where we are? Little gets done in Congress without paybacks and trading schemes. Yet we look the other way, hoping to gain what we little we can from their maneuverings. Could it be God’s tenets, His promises, and His laws we’ve forgotten? Could it be that our cry should be to our

Creator, a cry for mercy and forgiveness? A look at the book of Judges should tell us all we need to know about what happens when God’s creation ignores Him. And what it takes to restore a solid relationship with our Maker.

Yes, the concern that, as United States citizens, we’ve forgotten our roots, ignored our heritage, and lost our allegiance is probably valid. Similarly, but of much more importance, our relationship with our God has been swept aside in the busyness of a harried, hurried culture. Hopefully, we can all learn to carry our utmost concerns to the foot of the cross, asking and trusting. When our lives are on the line, He holds the line. When we’re adrift on a stormy sea, He is in the boat with us. What else could we ask for in the worst of storms?

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (NIV) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

2 Timothy 3:14 (NIV): “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

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