Showing posts with label Security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Security. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Machiavelli on Fortresses

I can’t help noticing that Hosea is not the only Old Testament prophet who declaimed against fortresses. You may remember he told his nation, “Because you have trusted in your own way and in the multitude of your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed.”

So it happened, as we have been discovering in our Saturday studies in Hosea.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

What to Do with a Fruitless Branch?

I was baptized in Wynburg, South Africa just before reaching my 20th year. My counselor put a card in my hand after the service. It read “Kept by the power of God.”

I wondered whether that would really be true of me. Was I not responsible to abide in Christ according to his word? If I didn’t, would I not be cast forth like a fruitless branch? So I set 1 Peter 1:5 and John 15 at war with each other in my mind. I tried to soften the force of the Savior’s warning, but his word stayed firm and demanding: I must abide in Christ. That made me responsible, didn’t it? But Peter said I was kept by God’s power; clearly that made him responsible.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Mining the Minors: Amos (11)

One of the subtler themes of the book of Amos is this: that God hates strongholds.

That probably requires a little explanation. Chapters 1 and 2 are full of references to these fortified places. There are the strongholds of Ben-hadad in Syria, the stronghold of Gaza in Philistia, the stronghold of Tyre, and so on. Each of seven strongholds mentioned is slated to be devoured by fire, the judgment of God poured out upon them. Then in chapter 3 the word “strongholds” is used four times, and it is Israel’s strongholds, particularly Samaria, which are in view.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Mistress Forever

Isaiah 47 is a harsh message from the Lord for the “tender and delicate” virgin daughter of Babylon.

Stop and think about that imagery for a bit. If you know anything about the Chaldeans and the city of Babylon from either history or the Bible, the picture of an attractive, chaste young woman is not exactly what it brings to mind. From the never-completed Tower of Babel in Genesis to the “Fallen, fallen” of Revelation 18, Babylon is associated with predatory mercantilism, false gods, colossal hubris and even murder. In Babylon the great is the blood of prophets and saints.

Where symbols go, the “great prostitute” seems more apt than the virgin daughter.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

An Iceberg in the Gulf of Mexico

I sat in an office meeting last Saturday morning listening to my fellow managers discuss internal company changes that were, to everyone there, more than a little disconcerting. The afternoon shift supervisor had a clear note of panic in his tone as he anticipated what personnel moves upper management might be contemplating.

Understandably. Nice guy, but he’s got a doctorate in something esoteric that’s all but useless in the real world and I’m quite sure hasn’t the slightest idea what he’ll do if he’s suddenly unemployed.

I’m not about to tell you that I’m a whole lot better qualified myself, or that looking for another job has any great appeal to me. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands, and I suspect millions, all across North America who are staring down similar situations these days.

It’s not just potential unemployment that’s scary, is it.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How Not to Crash and Burn (33)

Antisocial behavior, innuendo, laziness and false confidence: there’s a lovely quartet for you.

Misty water-colored memories. Four more ancient proverbs, each of which reminds me of somebody I know or knew, usually more than one. Sometimes they remind me of me. Times change, people don’t. Not really.

Thankfully we have the word of God to guide us, because not too many of us seem to learn much from history.

And they don’t really teach history anymore anyway.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

From Safety to Where?

Christian Mingle takes your safety very seriously. Good to know.

But we all take our safety seriously. Some of us are too immature, unwary or inexperienced to recognize potential dangers when we encounter them, but that’s more a matter of failing to apply a principle than failing to believe it. If you ask a group of average folk how important their safety is to them, you’ll find most answer “Very”.

Drug safety, food safety, bike helmets, pre-nuptial agreements, fine print, motorcycle leathers, sunscreen, shark cages, air bags, seatbelts, life preservers, parachutes, fire alarms, escapes and extinguishers … everybody wants to be safe. Nothing intrinsically wicked about that.

Except when you do it at someone else’s expense.

Monday, June 29, 2015

“I Have a Right ...”

This generation is all about its rights. And indeed, the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sets out a bunch of them: the right to vote, the right to life, liberty and security of the person, the right to legal counsel, the right to an interpreter, the right to equal treatment before and under the law and so on — as did the Canadian Bill of Rights before it.

People seem to love making these things official.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Commit My Spirit

The most recent version of this post is available here.