Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Distracted by Moldy Bread

In Joshua 9 we read the account of the Gibeonites, a Canaanite tribe, who deceived Israel in order to enter into a covenant (a treaty), because the Gibeonites feared Israel. They had heard that God had given the land to Israel and knew about the destruction of Jericho and Ai. Naturally the Gibeonites did not want to be next. Rather than engaging the Israelites in battle, which they determined would be futile, they devised a plan to trick Israel. The plan was to dress up ambassadors to make it appear that they had traveled a great distance, they even outfitted these ambassadors with moldy bread and torn wineskins, to make their ruse seem more plausible. Apparently they understood that God made allowances for Israel to enter into alliances with distant countries, but not with the people who lived in Canaan. The Gibeonites hoped to survive by deceiving Israel.

Joshua and the leaders of Israel did fall for the ruse and entered into a treaty with the Gibeonites, a treaty they honored in spite of the deception on the Gibeonites part. The Israelites allowed the appearance of things to distract them from reality.

I believe that as Christians we are vulnerable to make alliances with people and parties that we have no business with making an allegiance with. An allegiance I think we get sucked into is the allegiance to politics. Sometimes this has to do with a political party, and other times it has to do with a particular candidate or an agenda. The result is that we are distracted from what God has called us to do as we put time and effort into something that is of less importance.

Right now there are Christians who have been deceived by Senator Obama’s moldy bread of hope and change. They have allowed themselves to believe that this man will usher in change and bring hope to people. Let’s be honest, that is just political rhetoric. If we want to be part of bringing hope and change to people, then we need to bring the Gospel to people. People who have been changed through the Gospel of Jesus Christ have hope regardless of the government that they live under. Change that bring hope is only found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not a politician who is able to make more promises than what he can keep.

Other Christians have been distracted by conservative promises of pro-life and pro-marriage platforms. There is nothing more precious in this world than human life, and we need to fight for it, but we should have learned by now politics is a poor vehicle to make that happen. The Republican party, despite of what they may say, is more interested in being in power than in protecting life. If they can make a promise to secure your vote then they will do it. When we get deceived by the moldy bread of a political party we will give them our allegiance and give time and money to get the “right” people elected and miss out on really touching the lives of other people. The greatest thing that we as Christians can do to stop abortion and end the charade that is homosexual marriage is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the lives of other people. As the truth changes their lives, so will their views on life.

God has given us a great opportunity in this country to be able to participate in the political process. I think it is something that we need to stay informed on and to vote when we have the opportunity. I also think that it is dangerous to give our allegiance to a party or a candidate. The greatest hope this country has is the Gospel on Jesus Christ, which has the power to change the hearts of people. Our allegiance must be to Jesus before anything else. Where does your allegiance lie?

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