Saturday, December 04, 2021

Morning devotions, Psalm 107

 When my devotions include a Psalm, I frequently turn to "Meditations in the book of Psalms," by Erling C. Olsen (1939). It was compiled from his weekly radio addresses which had a huge audience, and 107 was broadcast during 1936, the depths of the Great Depression.  That's what I enjoy about his thoughtful analysis--he is using writings 2500 years old with appropriate comments, then applying personal spiritual meaning good for any era, but often comments on the news of the day he was living. His comments about the political and economic situation of 1936 sounds as fresh as last night's news.

"We here in the east, and along the Atlantic seaboard, have no idea of the devastation that has been raging in the wheat belt, except from newspaper accounts and a few pictures that have found their way into the press.  I do not wish to appear as a calamity howler, for I know only too well that God is good and His mercy endureth forever [Ps. 107:1], and that He waits patiently for men to repent before He expresses Himself in judgment.  However, I must confess that I would not be surprised if God withholds His blessing from the earth in order to bring us back to an acknowledgment of His goodness and mercy.  When I think of the wickedness of men in high places, I say WICKEDNESS, in what has been called the "philosophy of scarcity,"** when by government edict men have plowed under their fields of cotton and wheat and other foodstuffs, and men have literally slain livestock, it is not surprising that God withholds His refreshing rains.  I do not desire to be intruding a politically partisan comment here; I am not interested in politics from that viewpoint and I do not believe it is the business of a preacher to meddle in politics; but I cannot avoid speaking the evident truth that this nation, from its President down, cannot smile away the responsibility of such godless, wicked doings."  He goes on to call for repentance as a nation and beg God to restore the land.

My mind slipped off the page to our own sick, godless administration--demanding lockdowns and mandates that send grocery store clerks, waitresses, nurses and truck drivers to work while millionaires and politicians frolick and party unmasked, that calls tattoo parlors and bars essential, but closes churches, that demands more and more of what isn't working now for political gain, not health of the nation. I closed the volume; Biden could be the feckless FDR who in the drought of 1934-1936 ordered farmers to destroy their crops and kill their livestock.

** It would be difficult to find a fair and unbiased history of that era--FDR is still considered the savior by the Democrats who led us out of the Depression and a devil many by Republicans who launched government programs that have enslaved millions and never ended after the crisis was over.  But in a philosophy of scarcity one sees the pie as fixed and others must give up some of their share.  This is the opposite of expanding wealth so everyone benefits.  It's now probably called redistribution, reparations, sharing the wealth, or even the Green New Steal (my term).

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