One of the things that I find difficult — and this predates the current crisis, is how people can be comfortable when their positions are demonstrably wrong. There is a certain smugness, a confidence that all will continue as it always has, and that one’s position in the world is secure.
This often happens among people who are good, were raised by good families, got good grades, good credentials, have married well, ahd have happy, well adjusted children. They learned from their parent show to be a spouse and a parent. They cannot comprehend how it could ever be different, how people could be discontented, or destructive.
It may be that I grew up in the poor part of town, or struggled with faith, or have had too many bruising events.
I instead see an elite, much less good now, and much more entitled, who think that their work is making people better despite data saying things are worse.
The fault is that they refute the data. They will not take feedback. In the nation of Israel, that flaw was fatal.
1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion
And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria,
The distinguished men of the foremost of nations,
To whom the house of Israel comes.
2 Go over to Calneh and look,
And go from there to Hamath the great,
Then go down to Gath of the Philistines.
Are they better than these kingdoms,
Or is their territory greater than yours?
3 Do you put off the day of calamity,
And would you bring near the seat of violence?
4 Those who recline on beds of ivory
And sprawl on their couches,
And eat lambs from the flock
And calves from the midst of the stall,
5 Who improvise to the sound of the harp,
And like David have composed songs for themselves,
6 Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls
While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils,
Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles,
And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away.
8 The Lord God has sworn by Himself, the Lord God of hosts has declared:
“I loathe the arrogance of Jacob,
And detest his citadels;
Therefore I will deliver up the city and all it contains.”
9 And it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die. 10 Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will answer, “Keep quiet. For the name of the Lord is not to be mentioned.” 11 For behold, the Lord is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.
12 Do horses run on rocks?
Or does one plow them with oxen?
Yet you have turned justice into poison
And the fruit of righteousness into I.e. bitternesswormwood,
13 You who rejoice in Lit a thing of nothing,
And say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?”
14 “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you,
O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God of hosts,
“And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath
To the brook of the Arabah.”
2 Thessalonians 1:5-12
5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The good people who were wrong, at times disastrously so, but they had compassion. Their error was to assume all people think the same, and if they immigrate they will become members of the good, patriotic, producive middle class with the same (liberal) sentiments.
An example. In 1972 Maori and Pacific leaders warned against expanding the welfare state. They were told that this would not lead to social disintegration. But it did, pretty much as the working class elders of those communities predicted.
But what we are seeing now is nastier. There is no compassion. You can lose your job not because you are incompetent, uncaring, or not a team player but because you do not agree with the mandates of this day, which are continually changing. Credentials have replaced competence. There is a greek chorus of syncopates praising the elite, writing songs, producing propaganda, and celebrating with them.
But they ignore the ruin of what used to be Godzone. They forget they are accountable to God for the generation that they lead.
For us, what does this mean? We are generally not in the elite club — at times in my life I have got close, but I was preserved from being part of them.
We are encouraged to turn to Christ and look to him for salvation. For he will return to judge… accurately.
It is a fearful thing to be in the hands of an angry and righteous God.
We need to turn to Christ and mistrust our rulers, who are converged with the destructive spirit of this age.
And we need to repent of any wish that we would be like them.