Reset justly

Reset justly

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32

Matthew 26:52 All those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.

The year 2020 was a year of many seemingly unprecedented events: the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather, global social upheaval, and a nearly global movement to attempt to correct past wrongs. Cries for justice and freedom were often not peaceful but violent. Riots, looting, destruction of private property, and historical monuments were rampant. Seemingly, restraint was often totally lacking.

Perhaps a time of reflection upon wisdom from the past is called for. Edmund Burke was a British statesman, parliamentary orator, and political thinker prominent in public life from 1765 to about 1795. He was a classic political thinker. His intellectual achievement depended upon his understanding of philosophy and its practical application in civil and social life. Consider the great pith of his reflections and observations.

“He that sets his house on fire because his fingers are frostbitten, can never be a fit instructor in the method of providing our habitations with a cheerful and salutary warmth.”

“Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites…in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”

“It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.”

“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.”

“The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”

Edmund Burke could be commenting upon global conditions in the 21st century, and particularly those of America. In fact he was reflecting upon the French Revolution 1780 – 1799, and particularly the Reign of Terror from September 5, 1793, to July 27, 1794. The people of France defied and rebelled against the exploitative and repressive values that had existed for centuries. The Revolutionary government decided to make “Terror” the order of the day. The French people destroyed the symbols of the monarchy and ultimately the monarchy itself. Those deemed guilty by the #Me Too movement of the day lost their heads also. The goal was to purge France of the enemies of the Revolution. Images of beheadings by the guillotine were immortalized by paintings and caricatures of the time. It is also been called, “The Bloody Revolution.”

It was soon followed by The White Terror, a violent reaction against supporters and participants of the Reign of Terror. Violence begets violence.

Matthew 26:52 All those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.

And so it was. All who took up the guillotine also perished by it.

There must be a better way.

REFLECT & PRAY

“Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality” (Edmund Burke).

Father guide me and give me wisdom that I may know when to make peace and when to make war.

INSIGHT

There are over 1100 prophecies in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah of Israel. Over 300 of them predict that He will come as the Prince of peace, die for the iniquity of people, and make redemption possible for all who would accept it. The Lord Jesus Christ would be a Suffering Servant. His first coming would be characterized by miracles, teaching, and peaceful confrontation. He would frequently turn the other cheek. He did not come to reign but rather to die for the sins of the world.

But at the same time over 800 of the prophecies indicated that he would be a powerful King, who leads a powerful army, destroys his enemies and sets up the Kingdom of God on earth.

When He returns, He will not be turning the other cheek, but rather He will wage war!

Revelation 19:11 I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

There is a time for peace and a time for war (Ecclesiastes 3:8).

How are children of the King to know which is which?

The New Testament is very clear regarding the value of peace, and being a peacemaker.

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

You might say that is our prime directive. However, not everyone who we wish to be at peace with, will reciprocate and want to be at peace with us.

Romans 12:18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

Living in peace with others is the goal. However, Paul qualifies this standard with the proviso, if it is possible, we are to do all we can. Peace and harmony with others may not always be achievable. Children of the King are not be responsible for the reluctance and failure of others to make peace. But we should always attempt to do so.

The desire for peace, is not peace at any price, but rather peace which adheres to principle. “Christianity is not an easy-going tolerance which will accept anything and shut its eyes to everything” (Barclay). Sometimes war is necessary.

Matthew 10:16 I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

This should leave us somewhat conflicted. The Father must show each of His children how to act in every given situation. Often the Scriptures demand such dependence.

Proverbs 26:4-5 

 4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will also be like him.

 5 Answer a fool as his folly deserves, less he be wise in his own eyes.

¯\_()_/¯

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