Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thoughts for the day after Columbus Day

We have a myth of founding here in the U.S. We see ourselves as "the city set on a hill." We see the nations streaming into us like the prophets foretold of Jerusalem. We are the ones who bring light to the nations. We can do little or no wrong. We are the liberators, not conquerors. We are ones everyone wants to emulate.

But what if that is backwards? What if we are really Babylon? What if the "freedom" we promise is just a bondage?

I read recently that around the world, ISIS and such are not regarded as the primary threats to peace. The U.S. is...

Those are the thoughts that occurred to me today as I was reading in Habbakkuk 2:

Moreover, wealth is treacherous;
the arrogant do not endure.
They open their throats wide as Sheol;
like Death they never have enough.
They gather all nations for themselves,
and collect all peoples as their own.

  Shall not everyone taunt such people and, with mocking riddles, say about them,

“Alas for you who heap up what is not your own!”
How long will you load yourselves with goods taken in pledge?
Will not your own creditors suddenly rise,
and those who make you tremble wake up?
Then you will be booty for them.
Because you have plundered many nations,
all that survive of the peoples shall plunder you—
because of human bloodshed, and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who live in them.
   “Alas for you who get evil gain for your houses,
setting your nest on high
to be safe from the reach of harm!”
You have devised shame for your house
by cutting off many peoples;
you have forfeited your life.
The very stones will cry out from the wall,
and the plaster will respond from the woodwork.
   “Alas for you who build a town by bloodshed,
and found a city on iniquity!”
Is it not from the LORD of hosts
that peoples labor only to feed the flames,
and nations weary themselves for nothing?
But the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,
as the waters cover the sea.

     “Alas for you who make your neighbors drink,
pouring out your wrath until they are drunk,
in order to gaze on their nakedness!”
You will be sated with contempt instead of glory.
Drink, you yourself, and stagger!
The cup in the LORD’S right hand
will come around to you,
and shame will come upon your glory!
For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you;
the destruction of the animals will terrify you—
because of human bloodshed and violence to the earth,
to cities and all who live in them. (Hab 2:5-17 TNIV)

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