I still had an email from one of my U.S.Senators simmering on the back burner of my mind, and as my eyes wandered over the text of Scripture in my open Bible, I read ahead of where my Pastor was reading. (sorry Wendell)
As I scanned Isaiah 10, I was riveted by the following.
"Ah, Assyria, the rod of my anger; the staff in their hands is my fury! Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and seize plunder, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. But he does not so intend, and his heart does not so think; but it is in his heart to destroy, and to cut off nations..." (Isaiah 10:5-7).
Right there on the page after God's glorious announcement that "...to us a son is born...", (Isaiah 9:6) is a declaration of the judgment that God is sending against Jacob and Israel because of their arrogance and oppression. His people have not been living as His people, and He will therefore utilize the destruction that lies in the heart of another to punish them and bring them low.
Now, I'm not intending to unravel all the complexities of God's Providence in the affairs of men right here and now. But I find it intriguing to find references of His divine hand almost everywhere I look in Scripture, once my eyes knew to see them as such. It's as if I was looking through the viewfinder of my camera at a large forest, focused down to bring clear the vines entwined in the tree branches, only to discover that they are laced across the entire canopy of the woods.
With a mere breath between promises God tells us that He is sending a child-
"...and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." (Isaiah 9:6-7) (Wendell's text- I was listening!)
Take a breath. And then-
"...the Lord raises the adversaries of Rezin against (His people), and stirs up (their) enemies." (Isaiah 9:11)
So, to my point here. I had received an email message from Senator Arlen Specter, (D, PA). I am on his email list, ironically, because I've sent him messages voicing my lack of support for the passage of the Healthcare Bill that Congress is creating. (I'm not against reforming our system, it needs to change somehow, but this ain't it.) I'll quote from his Holiday message, because nobody says it like a zealot.
"Dear Friend, (?!?!)
From the cloture vote, it is now apparent that 60 Democratic Senators are in favor of comprehensive health care reform. This legislation is an important step in seeing to it that adequate health care becomes a right in America and not just a privilege.
It is not the bill that I would have preferred and there is an opportunity to improve it in conference. I would like to see a strong, robust public option. I would like to see more clear-cut language on a woman’s right to choose. But it has many important features. It covers 31 million more Americans. It has important insurance reforms. No longer can an insurance company reject a claim because of a pre-existing condition. No longer can there be a lifetime limit on insurance coverage.
I consider the legislation similar to the Civil Rights Act of 1965. It was a very good law, but it took a preliminary legislative enactment in 1957 and another in 1964 - each an incremental step - to set the stage for what was satisfactory and adequate civil rights legislation.
It is regrettable that there is such divisive partisanship in the Senate today. When we took the cloture vote, every one of the 60 Democrats said ‘Aye,’ and every one of the 40 Republicans said ‘Nay.’ It is the same attitude that pervaded the Senate during the stimulus package which I think was indispensible to avoid a 1929 Depression. I believe that when you have thousands of people dying each year because they don’t have insurance or adequate medical care, this bill is a very significant step forward.
Have a happy and healthy holiday season. " (Text in bold print was his choice, not mine.)
I'm really pretty sure that it would be difficult to describe this legislation in as opposite a fashion from how I see it. I shot back a hot and quick, yet respectful and spit-free reply.
I disagree with you on every point concerning the Health Care bill which you are about to vote through. I believe that it will be signing the death warrant for our Constitution and the beginning of Socialism in America, which will lead to our downfall as a Nation. The transparency and bipartisanship which Candidate Obama promised have certainly not come to fruition in President Obama's administration, and the Democratic Caucus appears to be gleefully skipping along behind him as he leads our country to the brink of economic collapse.
You sir have neither my support nor my confidence and I will join with the many others who agree with common sense and love our Constitution to vote you out of office.
My prayers are with you at this time in hopes that God will open your eyes to what is happening and open your ears to the pleas from your constituents.
Merry Christmas to you and may you come to your senses sooner than later."
As we have been following the debate on health care and how our Congress has been handling it, it has been very easy to become tangled neck-deep in the mire of politics and ugliness. As one dear friend puts it, "When I watch Glenn Beck it makes me breathe funny". Defeating the health care bill before Congress would be a marvelous victory and a step in the right direction toward preserving our free-market economy and system of Democracy. If the bill does pass however, it will not be the end of civilization as we know it. We won't have to take our family and live in caves, foraging for our survival and making fire from a pair of sticks. (We have a Boy Scout- he knows how to make fire...)
Actually getting to my point now; God is still in control. The election of Barrack Obama and a Democratic majority in Congress have reduced God's power not one whit. The Ancient of Days saw this coming; the Creator of the universe was not caught by surprise; and the Mighty One is not anthropomorphically chewing His fingernails in His anxiety over Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman deciding to vote for health care.
I looked up a whole pile of verses concerning God's dominion over the hearts and minds of earthly kings and His heavenly direction of the affairs of men. But I really want to focus on only one more.
The President of the United States of America is but a man. The Congress of the United States of America is made up of men and women.
"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things (sins). Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which he will display at the proper time- he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1Timothy 6:11-16)
Our God reigns, and Him will I serve come hell or high water, health care or higher taxes.