Collateral Damage (four)

Another parable put he [Y’shuaJesus] forth unto them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
Matthew 13:24-30

Out back I’m watering today. It’s cool, though the last few days have been dry and windy, which dries the ground out. While during the hottest days of summer, we often water selectively, today I’m watering a large area using an irrigation sprinkler. Water covers both what we have planted as well as those nature has provideds for us. Some call them weeds. They’re really just plants we will eventually remove as we have the opportunity. Unlike the owner of the field to which Y’shuaJesus was referring in the scripture, we won’t let them grow to harvest. But there are many times I think about this scripture when I’m inadvertently stepping on a new shoot while navigating around in the garden area. G-d’s more concerned with collateral damage than I, for which I’m exceedingly pleased.

In Genesis chapter 18 we find the Lord considering what to do with a couple of very evil towns. Finally, He decides to destroy them both. He tells Abraham about His plan. “And Abraham drew near, and said, ‘Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?’ ” Genesis 18:23

Matthew Henry comments: “Here is the first solemn prayer upon record in the Bible; and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom. Abraham prayed earnestly that Sodom might be spared, if but a few righteous persons should be found in it. Come and learn from Abraham what compassion we should feel for sinners, and how earnestly we should pray for them. We see here that the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Abraham, indeed, failed in his request for the whole place, but Lot was miraculously delivered. Be encouraged then to expect, by earnest prayer, the blessing of God upon your families, your friends, your neighbourhood. To this end you must not only pray, but you must live like Abraham. He knew the Judge of all the earth would do right. He does not plead that the wicked may be spared for their own sake, or because it would be severe to destroy them, but for the sake of the righteous who might be found among them. And righteousness only can be made a plea before God. How then did Christ make intercession for transgressors? Not by blaming the Divine law, nor by alleging ought in extenuation or excuse of human guilt; but by pleading HIS OWN obedience unto death.”

So, while a couple of wicked towns and their inhabitants are destroyed, Lot and family are saved. Again proving G-d is concerned with collateral damage.

Yet we continue to live in a world in which we are persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, even murdered. There are laws enacted to protect people in America from discrimination of all forms. Some of those people actively engage in acts that are forbidden by G-d, as spoken of in His Word. Yet I know, from firsthand experience, that employers restrict some Christians from the exercise of their religion. Such restrictions, discrimination, is forbidden under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. Pagans in America are free to preach their religious views, approving of activities that are anathema to Christians, yet Christians are all to often restricted from expressing the love of G-d by sharing the Gospel message.

These are trials in which we must endure. Sometimes we suffer the collateral damage from the simple fact that we live in a fallen world. Additionally, “. . .[G-d’s] judgements [are] in all the earth.” Psalm 105:7 These are not the wrath of G-d, to which we will not be made a part. We endure in the knowledge that the righteous live eternally—even if they fall “asleep” in Y’shuaJesus, they will be awoken. Though we today suffer various calamities along with pagans in this fallen world, there is a wrath coming to Earth in which we shall not partake. Y’shuaJesus said so. Believe. Prepare today and endure to the End.

Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .

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