“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
The Psalmist asks a probing question: “Why do the nations rage?” He answers his own question. “The kings of the earth set themselves. . . against the Lord and against his anointed.” These thoughts have been simmering in my head and heart for some days now.
There is a great rage in America. Most would have us believe that this rage is a reaction to systemic racism most recently ignited by the death of George Floyd and the injuries to Jacob Blake – among others. I do not believe that to be true. This growing rage is the consequence of a race (and there is only ONE race––the race of Adam) that has set itself against the Lord and His anointed.
Abraham Lincoln gave a stark warning to the nation: “At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”
The Holy Scriptures provide a similar judgment: “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Galatians 5:15)
What we are seeing in America today is the necessary result of the rejection of God, and his Anointed (Jesus). As mankind has turned his face from God seeking to be his own sustainer, his own sustenance, and his own satisfaction, he has sadly discovered that he has no capacity for such things. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are endowed (given) by our creator. He is the author of such things and only He can give them. We can neither self-discover them nor manufacture them for the elements of such things are not found within us. As men have frantically searched for joy, happiness, prosperity, and power within our own hearts we have found only self––self-centered, self-consumed, self-conscious, and self-love. None of these things can provide the peace we seek.
While our creator offers these things freely, man has rejected them in favor of his own self-sufficiency which is no sufficiency. As a result, rage has been continually rising in the human race and has boiled over in our generation. Webster’s tells us that rage is violent, uncontrolled anger. This powerful anger rages against anything and everything in its path. That is easily seen as mobs attack the homes of the very mayors and governors who have lent them support. Rage is blind, it is mindless, and it has no friends.
Rejecting God is sin and the result of sin is anger that erupts over time into a rage. I have spent my life working with men and women who are filled with a constant, ever-present cancer called anger. They try everything to soothe that anger––drugs, alcohol, sex, work, money, power––but rage cannot be assuaged, it cannot be soothed. Rage is unthinking, unreasonable, and unrelenting. I have seen the broken bodies of spouses and the bruised and shattered lives of children. I can sit outside the office of our church in the close quarters of our neighborhood and hear the sounds of rage coming down the streets and from inside nearby homes. I see men fighting in the streets of our town and we have worked to put the pieces of broken homes and broken lives back together again––only to see the rage erupt once again to destroy lives.
The rage we see in humanity comes from one source––a rejection of God. The salve that can soothe that rage is the life-giving peace that can only come from God. Many in the church itself as we have become less godly and more worldly are being dragged into the anger that assails our nation. Our faces do not reflect the peace of God which passes all understanding, and our voices no longer carry the sound of reasonableness as the same, angry rage that has infected mankind infects us as well. There is an antidote: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Galatians 4:6-7)
We cannot heal the disease of rage that infects the heathen by joining ranks with mindless, endless “causes.” We must partake of the vaccines of the Word of the Lord, the Joy of the Lord, and the Peace of God, and we must enter into the battle armed with the power of God unto salvation––the Gospel of Christ.
We must see the truth: The world rages because men have rejected God. The only thing that will calm the rage is to turn once again to God. Christians going into the streets, carrying signs and shouting hateful slogans will not heal the rage; it will only lend validity to it.
It is not racism that is killing us.
It is not poverty that is killing us.
It is not police brutality that is killing us.
It is the rejection of God that is destroying mankind.
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