I was so sad to read the long list of sins the people of Israel committed against the Lord because I see some of the same sins running rampant in our own time and in our own place. Does this sound familiar?
7 Fathers and mothers are treated with contempt. Foreigners are forced to pay for protection. Orphans and widows are wronged and oppressed among you. 8 You despise my holy things and violate my Sabbath days of rest. 9 People accuse others falsely and send them to their death. You are filled with idol worshipers and people who do obscene things.
25 Your princes[c] plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land.
27 Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money!
29 Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice.
Could those verses describe today’s world? Just a quick look at any newspaper will show that things haven’t changed very much. Fathers and mothers are still often despised by their children; the elderly are often abused and left alone to die in the sweltering heat or freezing cold. What about obscenity? Not only do people do obscene things, but those very things are celebrated nationwide on television shows, movies, and the internet. Do our leaders seize treasures and extort wealth? Let’s see…well over half of our income is consumed in some way by taxes. Our elected leadership is filled with way too many who accept bribes (and hide them in freezers) or who award scholarships to family members and then, when they are found out, claim that they never knew it was against the law to do such a thing. That doesn’t surprise me much considering that most legislators don’t read the legislation they vote on!
When I think of God’s fury against Israel and the utter destruction that followed…I shudder. We will be judged. Will God judge us more harshly because we are the ones who elect these people?
The message is still the same today as it was all those years ago: God longs for us to turn back to him and repent. I guess it all goes back to the wisdom of Solomon who wrote in Ecclesiastes:
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. 10 Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. 11 We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.
Yesterday’s news is oftentimes today’s reality…kind of like leftovers.