Did you hear the one about…?

You know that joke about the guy threatened by flood waters who spurned offers from the truck, the boat, and the helicopter to take him to safety because he had prayed to God and God would save him?  I fear the joke is on us.

The joke goes on to have the man drown, go to heaven, and complain to God, “I prayed to you Lord and you didn’t answer.”  God replies, “I sent a truck, a boat, and helicopter to rescue you.  What more did you want me to do?”

In just over 10 years, we’ve experienced the utterly astounding destruction of two of America’s symbols of prosperity: the Twin Towers.  We’ve seen a hurricane and an oil spill ravage the Gulf Coast.  We’ve seen two other hurricanes slam the North Atlantic Coast.  And we’ve seen crippling, unprecedented drought, an epic economic collapse, and men, women and children slaughtered in 3 mass shootings.

But you can’t say it has anything to do with our acceptance of gay marriage, baby killing, living together, unbelief, or rejecting the possibility of knowing the truth.  You can say it’s about global warming, climate change, man’s carbon emissions, and even the flatulence of cows. You can say it’s about politics, the 99% being ignored, guns, and even being off the gold standard.  You just can’t say any of these catastrophes, disasters, or tragedies have anything to do with men flouting the ways of God.

How many will stand before the judgment throne and say, “But I had no idea anything was wrong between us!”  And couldn’t God answer, “I sent terrorists, hurricanes, oil spills, drought, economic collapse, and madmen!  What more could I’ve done to warn you?”

Well, He could have sent watchmen; He could have sent shepherds; He could have sent overseers.  O that’s right; He did, and that would be me.  And am I being faithful if I let the climate change crowd, the Occupy crowd, the political crowd, the military crowd, the gun control crowd make these events about nothing more than weather, money, politics, terrorists, and guns?  That’s not what Luther did with the Turks, the Peasant Revolt, weather, plague, or economic issues.

Perhaps he saw clearer than we do.  Perhaps I’m afraid to look and/or speak.  Perhaps you would rather not hear.  So what we have are three monkeys who see, hear, or speak no evil.  You might think that since Paul bids us to be innocent in all things evil this a good thing, but the jokes on us monkeys if were refusing to see, speak, or hear reality.


About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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