Whenever life fails to go as planned, we tend to blame God. Sure, God controls the universe, holding it firmly in the palm of His Hand, but this does not mean we are exempt from experiencing painful consequences of poor choices. From the very beginning, there’s been a problem with taking responsibility. In the Garden of Eden, Adam threw God and Eve under the bus for his part in biting into the forbidden fruit. In the Book of Jonah, we find the prophet blaming God for allowing him to soak in the digestive juices of a “great fish.”
Do you recall the story? God called Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn them of pending Judgment. Instead of being obedient, Jonah boarded a ship to Tarshish, a port city almost 900 miles in the opposite direction. He balked at sharing a message with people he believed deserving of God’s wrath. While on this ship, God orchestrated a violent storm at sea. The sailors discovered Jonah was the cause of this tempest, and Jonah explained the only way to save the ship was to throw him overboard. And that’s what they did. But listen to what Jonah says in chapter 2:3,
“For You cast me into the deep…”
Jonah obviously forgets his role in the story. Jonah ran from God. God chose to get his attention. Jonah asked to be thrown into the sea. Blaming God for becoming fish food serves to exempt Jonah from responsibility.
In several conversations of late, many people ask why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand atop the race for the White House. Those opposing Trump cite his conceit, vulgarity, and boyish bully-ness. On the other side of the aisle, Clinton turns the stomach of many because of her propensity to lie and her role in an Ambassador’s death in Benghazi….not to mention she’s under FBI investigation concerning her handling (or mishandling) of classified and top secret emails. Why do voters choose people like that? I’m asked.
It’s simple. We asked for it.
Remember how the Children of Israel suffered from the “Keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome? Other nations appointed kings, and Israel determined to have one as well. The prophet Samuel warned them of the consequences of having King, but they disregarded the prophet’s vetting of a future leader. Samuel was offended and went to the Lord, who said,
“They have not rejected you. They have rejected me from being their king” (I Samuel 8:7)
Once again Samuel implored the people to reconsider; instead they demanded a king. So finally God said,
“Give them a king” (I Kings 8:22)
God allowed the Children of Israel to have a king, not because their choice was in His perfect will, but because of His practice of allowing people to exercise free will.
Fast forward to 2016.
The current frontrunners in both parties aren’t the problem; they reflect the result of a society stomping on the accelerator, running the opposite direction of God. Trump claims repentance isn’t necessary in his life, and Hillary had the audacity to say she’s never lied to the American people. But why does this behavior shock us? In 2012, the Democratic Party booed God at their national convention, and sadly, the Republican Party may not be that far behind. For whatever reason, we’ve lost sight of the importance of character, values, and morality, pillars modeled by our Founders as they crafted the Constitution and cited the Hand of Providence as their guide. Our moral compass has broken and we’re shaking the magic eight ball to get directions. We’ve lost sight of what’s true and right and pure and noble…. As a Country, we’re getting what we asked for. Why don’t we care otherwise?
Maybe it’s because we’re too busy Keeping up with the Kardashians.