Monday, December 31, 2012

Chasing Truth - Part Three - Hard Words

(Amos 7:10) Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.  (7:11) For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of his land.  (7:12) Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thou away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:  (7:13) but prophesy not again any more at Beth-el; for it is the king's sanctuary, and it is a royal house.  

Truth is hard more often than not. It’s a diamond. It can cut through just about anything. And like a diamond, even ground into fine particles truth can be quite abrasive and expose hidden layers. It can engrave and reshape useless things into great good things. But the hard nature of truth is the very thing that repels fragile humanity and causes us to dismiss or avoid it. 

There has never been a time, in recorded human history, that mankind has liked and/or preferred the truth. The old testament is filled with stories of God’s prophets speaking hard words to His people, and more often than not, they have responded with stiff-necked obstinacy, to their detriment. Some lessons are too difficult to learn, apparently.

There was the exception of Nineveh, the reprobated tribe that repented, to Jonah’s  disgruntled surprise, when he was finally made to speak God’s hard words to them. Even that didn’t last though. Nineveh reverted to its old ways in just over a hundred years and was summarily destroyed, with little trace to include them in historical reference. This ought to be a sober lesson for anyone but, again, humans are cursed with short term memory loss when it comes to behavior choices. Prophets come and go, repentance, at least for the short term, adds to the progress of a people. And then, they do what people do, they forget, compromise, rationalize, and slide gently away into a  softer, more blissful, self-serving blindness, which, at least in the case of God’s chosen people, has always resulted in slavery. Always means without exception.

The first bad sign of a reprobated society usually manifests itself in the devising and embracing of synthetic truth. It looks good and sounds good, but, in fact, at its core it is the antithesis of good. But it seems so good because it is often much more gentle, palatable and thus easier to swallow. It claims it represents “love”. Who doesn't like love? The hallmark of this kind of truth is the absence of the requirement for humility, repentance and internal change. 

It looks as though in this touchy-feelly age we have come to a pinnacle of this kind of substitutionary truth. Only syrupy words of comfort, inclusion, tolerance and acceptance are allowed because, after all, who wants to hear that in order to be salvaged he/she must admit to bad behavior and resolve to change? Hard words are not only rejected as having no place in this enlightened society, they are bordering on illegal and certainly punishable by rejection and expulsion. Hard words must be silenced. If that doesn’t work, next comes imprisonment. Say the hard words and reap the honor of being public enemy number one. 

Prophet or not, in any age, a teller of truth is labeled everything but good, especially if the truth spoken is proclaiming doom for those who will not repent. Naysayer, doomer, anti-social, curmudgeon, cranky, judgmental, negative nelly. Who can abide with such a downer? And ever it has been. But one day, a day of reckoning, the truth, hard as a diamond, will finally emerge from the manmade muck that has been piled on top of it and  it will shine the light of truth into every dark corner. And liars and lovers of lies will go the way of the people of Nineveh. 

Hard is as hard does and no where is it written that we have to like it for it to be true.

For Christ,

(Thessalonians 2:7) For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only [there is] one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.  (2:8) And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming;  (2:9) [even he], whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  (2:10) and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  (2:11) And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie:  (2:12) that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 

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