There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
3 And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
The most recent shooting spree in California begs for solution or explanation. How could such a thing happen?!? How can we stop it in the future?
While there may well be good solutions to these kinds of atrocities, most people don’t look deep enough to find them. The solution lies deep in the root, springing from a discarded relic of the past. The Solution is God’s salvation and the wisdom, justice, and righteousness that flows from his being.
God’s Savior has come. Filled with the Holy Spirit, wisdom, counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
Meyer Minute for December 3
“God isn’t fixing this” blares the headline in today’s New York Daily News. After each terrible incident, people in places high and low encourage us to pray, and we do, praying for those devastated by the violence and praying for peace. Now, in the wake of the shootings in San Bernardino, people are tweeting, posting, and publishing that prayer is useless, “God isn’t fixing this.”
Of course God isn’t fixing this! God is saying, “See how your life goes, America, if you don’t live in true fear of Me.” Read what Paul said about the worldly wise people of his day. “Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks for him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools…. Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind…” and then follows a catalog of the sins that plague our lives today (Romans 1:21, 22, 28-32).
God’s giving us over to our self-willed ways. Do you think gun control is the solution? Or the opposite, every citizen armed? Both solutions are superficial because they presume humanity is OK, ignoring that these horrific crimes are symptoms of a problem between us and God. As long we imagine we can fix it, God will keep giving us over to ourselves.
My first professor of theology was the late Dr. John F. Johnson. To this day, 50 years later, I remember him saying the first rule of theology is “We don’t know.” A lot of people are asserting a lot of things. They don’t know. Everything will stay imprisoned under sin (Galatians 3:22) until America shudders in fear before God. God isn’t fixing this because a fix wouldn’t lead us to true repentance.
“Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by Your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins…” (Collect for the First Sunday in Advent). We don’t know. Therefore we pray.