Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Numbers 22:21-41 (Part 2 of 3)

Balaam and His Donkey

Yesterday, we talked about how God sometimes puts roadblocks in our way to prevent us from doing something that will derail our growth in our relationship with him. What if, then, we ignore those roadblocks and push headlong into our desired courses of action? Have you ever been so stubborn about something that you push ahead even though what you are doing is wrong and could hurt other people?

 

We see it all the time in this fallen world. Our pride and our desire to do what makes us feel good often trumps good reason. Funny that I should use such a verb at this time. We as the Republican party are riding Balaam’s donkey as we speak. First, let me preface what I am about to say is that I am normally a staunch Republican who believes that the constitution should be interpreted strictly by our courts, that our courts should limit themselves to what it says, and I believe in limited government, low taxes, a free market economy with limited regulation, and the sanctity of human life from the point of conception, and so on. However, we as Republicans, in this election, are pushing on through with our desire not to have Hillary Clinton as President that we will accept anything to accomplish that goal. As a Marco Rubio supporter, I have felt like that person who is in a dream who sees a bad thing about to happen to themselves or others but the words won’t come out. Nobody is listening. We are pushing headlong into the election with Trump as the nominee of our party and we close our eyes to who this man really is because we are so afraid of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

 

I had an old friend from high school berate me on Facebook the other night for publicly stating that I cannot in good conscience vote for either major party candidate in this presidential election. Her whole point of her argument was that a vote for anyone other than Trump was a vote for Hillary. Nowhere in that post did she say that Trump was a good man, that he was for the times, that his policy proposals are superior to hers. The only thing that was remotely about the issues that she feared the judge that Hillary will appoint to the Supreme Court. Don’t get me wrong, Hillary Clinton is so supremely liberal and supports big government in ways that I cannot tolerate much less the fact that truth to her is a relative term that corresponds to what is most advantageous to her at the moment. However, the Republican nominee, my nominee, is a joke. He is great a real estate developer who takes advantage of tax loopholes to develop his empire, declares bankruptcy when the tax code that props up his empire changes, or he has spent other peoples money too lavishly, lives a lifestyle of a rock star with no moral compass only the desire to fulfill his desires, who trades out the women in his life when they start looking less than like a model (watch out Melania), whose actions and words are like that of a thirteen year old boy demanding his own way, who will apparently not ever listen to his advisors, whose knee-jerk comments are similar to those of an uneducated redneck, who actions throughout his life are of a man who is completely amoral and has no repentance at all for the sins that he has committed in his life. He has an ego the size of the island he lives on and this whole presidential run is about conquering that one last thing not about what he is capable of doing as a president. Can you realistically see him as a President? Is this what we want representing our country? It is the equivalent of having Jethro as President and Ellie May as the First Lady, two people who are vapid and not ready for the stage on which they play.

 

My friend from high school is so blind to who Trump is that she is willing to accept who Trump is just to keep Hillary out of office. So many of us out there are voting on that basis. We don’t give a R’s A about what kind of man Trump is (and that fact that he will have his hands on the nuclear arsenal) just so long as our President is not Hillary Clinton. It is a sad state of affairs in which we find ourselves when we have to tell people that a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary. Is that our message now as Republicans? Have we made a deal with the devil just to keep Hillary out of office? What happened to the policies of Reagan? His campaign was all about how, exactly how, he was going to change the economy and the tenor of our nation. What we have to offer the public now, as Republicans, is that Donald Trump is NOT Hillary Clinton. That is vision? That is our future? But we push headlong into the breach with that as our battle cry. We know that Donald Trump is an arrogant, immoral, unrepentant, stubborn, foulmouthed, hotheaded man who has lived in his cult of celebrity so long that he thinks he can get away with anything who simply wants the prize and not the job of President. We push headlong into the breach with this Napoleon knowing full well that he is a disaster waiting to happen because he is NOT Hillary. We deserve what we get in November. We really do. We had the opportunity to nominate a good man and a man with a Kennedy-esque flair and vision in Marco Rubio but we fell in love with the brash bully of a celebrity with no policy positions on anything other than to tear down his opponents. We saw this train wreck happening but we could not stop it. Rubio was the only one that would try to force Trump to state a position on something, anything, but all we got were barbs and rude remarks. But he’s NOT Hillary and off into the breach we go with Napoleon!

 

We see the same mentality in Balaam as we read through Numbers 22:21-40 this morning for the second of three times that we will visit this passage:

 

21 Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat it to get it back on the road.

 

24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.

 

26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

 

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

 

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

 

“No,” he said.

 

31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

 

32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”

 

34 Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

 

35 The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with Balak’s officials.

 

36 When Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the Moabite town on the Arnon border, at the edge of his territory. 37 Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not send you an urgent summons? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I really not able to reward you?”

 

38 “Well, I have come to you now,” Balaam replied. “But I can’t say whatever I please. I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”

 

39 Then Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and gave some to Balaam and the officials who were with him. 41 The next morning Balak took Balaam up to Bamoth Baal, and from there he could see the outskirts of the Israelite camp.

 

Here, we see Balaam being so blinded by his own desires, the money and the power that would come with it, that he could not see God in action trying to stop him from making a foolish mistake. Just as the continuing revelations about Donald Trump and his moral character that keep piling up as warnings from God, in my mind, that he is not a man to be trusted in the White House, so were these events in Balaam’s life. He kept pushing headlong into the breach. He kept going with what he knew to be against God’s wishes. He was blinded by the fact that he wanted to fame and fortune rather than understanding that God did not want him to do what he desired.

 

Are you facing a choice in your life where God is giving you signals in the form of roadblocks that you should not do it? Think about it. All the warning signs are there. All the indications that the choice you are about to make is wrong but you want it so bad. That woman that you are flirting with is a beautiful young thing but she is not your wife and you know it’s wrong but your desire outweighs your reason. That man that you think is everything that your husband is not and to boot, he is soooo hot! You know it’s wrong but your passion is greater than your reason. Screwing over your co-worker to get a promotion is wrong but you do it anyway because your greed is greater than your compassion. Taking something that doesn’t belong to you, you know is wrong, but no one is looking and your desire reasons out that it is OK just for that reason. We all have warning signs from the Holy Spirit that what we are about to do is against God’s design for our lives but we push headlong into them because we reason away the truth of God’s law. We reason away that it will destroy our lives. We reason away reason just to get what we want. Let us be a people that are sensitive to God’s roadblocks into our lives when we venture close to making decisions that are against his will. Let us stop and take stock when God puts roadblocks in our way to our executing our sins. Think it through. Stop. Turn away from that which is destructive for you. Heed the warning signs from God.

 

Amen and Amen.

Numbers 13:25-33 (Part 2 of 2)

The Scouting Report

Have you noticed lately that the herd mentality has taken over America? It no longer matters if you are right or wrong about something as long as you are in sync with the feelings of those with the loudest voices. Just think about the riots that have taken place in the past couple of years. Cities have burned because the proper reaction to a police shooting is to loot and pillage the business district of your city. Then, national pundits justify destruction of property of people who had nothing to do with the shooting as OK because of said shooting. And, think about this whole transgender bathroom thing in North Carolina. It all started with a city council in Charlotte, the largest city in the state, deciding that because of the needs of 1% of the population that we should all abide by their gender identity needs. Then, the rest of the state through the state legislature reacted to that extremely liberal position by passing a state law that would supersede the local, municipal law. Then, the firestorm began. Because one person or group thought it fashionable to say they were not coming to the Tar Heel State because of the state law, everybody joins in from Bruce Springsteen to Bryan Adams to conventions and so on. Often, these people had no clue about the background or reasons for the state law but simply wanted to garner public opinion.

 

Another example, even though I am a Republican, is the disaster that has become our party’s nomination this election year. Even though it is abundantly clear that Donald Trump, particularly as he has aged into his 70’s, is such an egomaniac that is too dangerous of a hothead and is in the game just for the popularity prize to be President, the herd mentality took over there as well. America is in love with celebrity and that is the only reason that Trump is where he is today. It is not because he is the best candidate from our party (that distinction belonged to Marco Rubio), but rather the herd saw the celebrity and jumped on Trump’s bandwagon because it was the cool thing to do. It did not matter that Trump had no policies and it did not matter that his debates were like the watching a child in an argument, “I know you are…but what am I” filled with name calling, half-truths, and outright lies and reversals of positions previously taken (even within the debate itself). Clinton will win the presidential race and it’s nobody’s fault but our own as party.

 

Now, we have the newest example of the herd mentality with Colin Kaepernick, the former starting quarterback, now the 2nd string quarterback, of the San Francisco 49ers professional football team. He decides, because of his recent conversion to Islam not to long after getting into a serious relationship with his new girlfriend, a Muslim, that all of sudden America is an oppressive place and will not stand for the national anthem. Although he lives in an exclusive home in an exclusive neighborhood and currently is the midst of five year, $19 Million contract that he is oppressed and will not stand for our country’s national anthem at recent football games. Although he, prior to this year, had no issue with that. Although he takes his paychecks to the bank and cashes every one of them that results from a society that felt he was special enough to deserve $19 Million over five years, he is oppressed. What happens, the herd mentality takes over. Now, there are multiple equally oppressed millionaire football players who are now not standing for the national anthem. And, you can see where this is headed. Eventually, we will not have the national anthem played at professional football games because it might offend the football players. They are an oppressed lot, you know, where as a benchwarmer with no hopes of making the field you still make a minimum salary is $450,000 per year. I would sit on the bench and be the biggest non-playing football uniformed wearing cheerleader you ever saw for that minimum wage. This is a non-issue that will be made into an issue because no one will stand up to the herd mentality and risk being ridiculed for not being liberal and free thinking.

 

Our nation has become like high school. Remember, high school! Where reputations can be ruined in a day. Where a lie becomes truth because that is what the crowd believes. Remember, girls with good reputations one day are considered whores the next because the rumor mill is taken as fact. Remember, guys being labeled as homosexual and that being held as true in the court of public opinion whether it is true or not. That is the nation that we have become. Truth no longer matters but rather the popularity of the things that we want to believe to be true whether it is true or not.

 

The herd mentality and Caleb standing up and shouting against the wind is what I thought of this morning as I read Numbers 13:25-33, for the second and final time this morning. Let’s read it together now:

 

25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

 

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

 

31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

 

Imagine Caleb standing before the crowd, knowing that he is right, voicing what was now becoming an unpopular opinion. Caleb was willing to take the unpopular stand so as to be in compliance with what God had commanded him to do. To be effective when you go against the crowd, you must have the facts (Caleb had seen the land himself), have the right attitude (Caleb trusted God’s promise to give Israel the land), and state clearly what you believe (Caleb said, “We can CERTAINLY conquer it!”).

 

Where are you men of courage? Where are you, the Calebs of the world? Why do we live in fear of the herd? Let us stand on God’s Word and God’s promises rather than bend to the herd mentality of the moment. Let us not compromise ourselves to meet the needs of the crowd for the moment before they move on to the next thing oh so important cause de jour. Let us be willing to be unpopular. Let us stand up in the high school lunchroom of public opinion and tell the truth even when it is unpopular. I am not saying that we take the bomb the clinic mentality which is just as wrong as the herd mentality of intolerant tolerance that is so prevalent today but we must have the courage to stand up and say the herd is wrong when we know they are wrong. We must have voice and not silence. We must be willing to rely on God’s power to protect when we voice an opinion backed by the truth of God as stated in His Word and rely on His protection.

 

Let us be a people that stands against the herd because we believe in the eternal truth of God rather than compromising to the crowd and being quiet when we know we should speak. Thank you Caleb for showing us your wisdom and your courage and your faith and your willingness to please God over pleasing public opinion.

 

 

Amen and Amen.