And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape. -- Malachi 3:15
Friday, August 16, 2013
There is nothing new under the sun. There is nothing new about people mocking God or being convinced that their wickedness has no consequences. It’s a funny thing, though; you can plant radish seed and have radishes in a couple of weeks. I planted asparagus last year and won’t eat any of it until next year. My apples trees are laden this year but just a couple of seasons ago I was wondering if I would ever have any apples.
Sometimes instant karma gets you, and it is a blessing. Disobedience produces a harvest of bitter herbs which spring up nearly overnight with ramifications undeniable. Other times, the seeds of destruction develop mostly underground over a very long period of time. What does appear above only reinforces our haughtiness. It may seem initially a thing of grace, a marvel and a wonder. Yet no matter how appealing this fruit may be, there is death in the root, and those who partake of it will perish.
So, throughout the ages, men have convinced themselves that the fire will not burn them, as Kipling says. The proverb, speaking of adultery, asks if man can take fire to his bosom and not be burned, and, while the correct answer is apparent, at first the man might say, “I’m merely warm.” Over and over man has tempted God and reaped catastrophe, but the next generation or nation or ideology comes along and claims it will be different this time. We are more modern, more advanced. We have the benefit of history and new technology. Applying all the latest innovations, they succeed in creating a fruit that is perhaps bigger and sweeter and of a different hue but the root remains toxic, and the end is always the same.
Maybe Twain was right and perhaps history does rhyme because the last foot of any line sounds like something we have heard before … cattle, chattel, battle, death rattle. We have a bias toward uniformitarianism with all things … continuing as they were from the beginning of creation. And it does, as they say, until it doesn’t. There are the great upheavals like mountain ridges erupting from the gently rolling plains of our ordinariness, crossed at peril then all but forgotten because they are called history. No more predictable than an earthquake and no less certain, we will see a whole lot of shaking going on.