A Season of Scandal

Scandal has dominated the national news the past several days and weeks. If you haven’t noticed it, you haven’t been paying attention. I don’t even have a TV and I’ve picked up the following sampling: … need to hold our government accountable to the American peopleBenghazi … whistleblower demoted after testimony … the department’s spying and stonewalling … continuous and blatant lying … journalists who care more about image than about the truth … a widening web of lies and deception … outrageous abuse of power and breach of the public’s trust …

Sounds pretty bad. The level of corruption and truth-twisting makes cynics of liberals and conservatives alike. King David’s lament could be our own:

When the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

Indeed, what should we do? You can feel the hopelessness in those words. Should we give up? Blame somebody else? Move to Australia? Regardless whether you’re a believer or never darken a church door, you sense something is radically wrong with our society, our country.

What should our attitude be? Some might say that we’re supposed to support the government, regardless. They forget that oppression stimulated the founders of our great experiment in democracy to declare independence from the tyrannical government of King George III. Christians might quote Paul’s letter to the Romans: Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except that which God has established (Romans 13:1). Keep in mind that “submit” doesn’t mean roll over.

Again, what to do? The following words of wisdom are based on the best supportable authority I have—the Bible. I’m not known to be the first or second smartest guy in the room but I believe God’s Word. It’s validated my trust in it time and again. (If you have a different perspective, I’d like to hear from you.)

Drawing only from the Psalms and Proverbs, following is God’s viewpoint re this season of lawlessness, and what he will do about it:

English: An image of Psalm 23 (King James' Ver...

English: An image of Psalm 23 (King James’ Version), frontispiece to the 1880 omnibus printing of The Sunday at Home. Scanned at 800 dpi. Français : Illustration du Psaume 23 (version autorisée par le roi Jacques), en frontispice de l’édition omnibus du Sunday at home. Version numérisée à 800 dpi. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12).

We may make our plans, but God has the last word (Proverbs 16:1).

 Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished, but those who are righteous will go free (Proverbs 11:21).

 And he will judge the world in righteousness, He will minister judgment to the peoples in uprightness (Psalm 9:8).

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace (Psalm 29:11).

In order—man’s way isn’t so good, though it may seem reasonable at the time. Unrepentant lawbreakers cannot escape ultimate punishment for their wickedness. God—not me or anybody else—is going to judge the whole world. That judgment will be impartial and complete because he is a holy God. Note that the Lord gives (present tense, ongoing) strength to his people and will give them peace. Are you one of his people? How do you know?

Back to our tasks in view of growing scandal:

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes (Psalm 37:7).

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7).

 I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:13-14).

The presence of evil and of evil people in the world is a reality. Matthew Henry said, “Even that which grieves us must not fret us … If wicked people prosper, we must not therefore incline to do as they do. Envy not their prosperity. There is no true happiness in it.” We are to trust in who God is and in his name. The goodness of the Lord can be ours today—“in the land of the living.” Though we want God to deal with the corrupt on our timeline—right now—we are exhorted to wait for the Lord.

Waiting confronts our bent toward impatience but these times of social decay and moral relativism also demand strength and courage. What are our options in the land of the living re the truth-twisters and abusers of power and position? Does evil win by default?

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Feared Classes, Sin, Tackling Fears and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Season of Scandal

  1. Billie Reynolds says:

    Dear Sam,
    One of my Bible studies is doing Jeremiah and the parallels of that time and ours are eerie. I see so much good, but we must be honest at the lowering of moral standards throughout our nation. The only answer is for the believers to turn to God and allow Him, not men or women, to control our destiny. Ironically it was a few days after the National Day of Prayer that the IRS mess surfaced. I happen to know organizations that have been trying to get their IRS approval for years. It has been going on for some time and certain types have been targeted. The Boy Scout decision was a great disappointment, certainly after the disclosure that in the military since “don’t ask don’t tell” went into effect there are 20% more male assults on males. Don’t get me started on the abortion problems and the harrassment Planned Parenthood is giving the groups who help persons with unwanted pregnancies.
    Dear God, we are sinners in need of your forgiveness and help!

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks, Billie. I didn’t realize the close connection of Jeremiah to contemporary conditions. In fact, I was thinking more of Isaiah. Appreciate your participation in the blog. Those issues are all vitally important.

  2. Jerry says:

    I agree with the need for continual governmental cleaning and await with interest the outcome of the current scandals. We shouldn’t extrapolate these scandals into Stalinesque scenarios, though. Some may be IRS bureaucratic overreach, abuse of the IRS system by primarily political groups (left and right) posing as social groups for donor anonymity, political hyperbole about Benghazi, and/or political pressure within the Justice Department to solve security leaks through ill-conceived and unconstitutional means. These are somewhat typical phenomena within our system of government, from what I have seen in my lifetime, and not a drift toward some despotic tyranny. We can hope that is true. We have lived through several such scandals within the USA during the past half century without seeing Stalin’s reappearance, and I am confident that we will have the opportunity to do so many times in the future.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks for your comment, Jerry.
      It’s unfortunate that the current abuse of the IRS system exists. It’s so one-sided (something like 300 to 0) against conservative and religious organizations that Nancy can probably kiss her hopes of becoming Speaker again good-bye.

  3. Jerry says:

    As the old saw goes, “If you think things are bad now, study history.” That could include history over the past half century, as a matter of fact. I imagine that God will expect us to clean up our own nest when we foul it.

    • samuelehall says:

      Good point, Jerry. It just seems so bad because it’s our history.
      Continual cleaning is necessary; otherwise, we would degenerate to total anarchy, chaos, or despotic dictatorship (Stalin).

  4. Thanks for the post, Sam. This is a great reminder that ultimately God is the one in charge and in my experience He can and does use the bad for good. We just have to trust Him. We also have to be willing to step up when we have a part to play, so I guess the best answers I can give to the questions you raise are that when we are feeling anxious about the turmoil around us, we need to draw ever closer to the heart of our Savior. When we do, we can hear His urgings to action. With Jesus in charge, evil cannot win.

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