Monday, August 15, 2011

Zechariah 11:6, An Elegy for the American Republic

"For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land, declares the LORD. Behold, I will cause each of them to fall into the hand of his neighbor, and each into the hand of his king, and they shall crush the land, and I will deliver none from their hand."

I am currently studying Zechariah in an intense fashion. I have been working on it for several months. When I got to this verse, it struck home with so much of the reaction I have had to the recent "debt ceiling crisis." I have been so saddened by the imperial attitudes by both members of Congress and the President. They demanded the power to increase their own credit limit in order to borrow money in order to pay the interest on existing government debt! I know that I would never be allowed to do that with my own credit cards. Set my own credit limit? I don't think so! Pay the interest only? Isn't that what was done with the mortgages that supposedly caused the mortgage crisis? And the demand for tax increases by some (to which I expect the rest to capitulate)? What a foolish idea, in general, but especially in light of the historical habit of Congress to spend $1.50 for every $1 of tax revenue. It is like trying to cure an addiction by taking more drugs! Hand the alcoholic a beer!

Zechariah is warning of a covenant society that has earned an oppressive government. A previous pastor of mine regularly repeated his mantra, "We get the government we deserve." What kind of government is He bringing, when He warns that He will cause us to fall into the hand of the king?

I Samuel 8:10-18
"'According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.' So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, 'These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.'"

Does this sound familiar?

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