Day 233, Morning
Today’s morning meditation is available below in audio and script formats. The audio version is also available for free download on the player.
Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spears against those who pursue me.
How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me!
—Psalm 35 (OT)
During the 19th Century in the United States, a belief called “Manifest Destiny” was so widely held that settlers began to expand west, across North America.
One historian wrote that this concept was born out of "a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example, generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven.”
Of course, if you took American History in school, you know that these white settlers also believed that the Native American tribes were an impediment to this “destiny” who were to be avoided and, if need be, eradicated.
The wild west was won, but not by the gentleness of the white man’s God. It was taken by force with gunpowder and fire.
It’s interesting to me how, when we believe that God is on our side, our enemies become our God’s enemies. History is filled with conflicts between peoples of differing traditions, each believing that God wills it for them to eliminate the other.
Anne Lamott once said,
“You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.”
In the Psalm above, I love how the writer is left asking a question. One can even imagine him in the defeat of battle, shouting the question up into the heavens.
“How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me!”
Perhaps his God doesn’t respond because his enemies aren’t God’s enemies. For God has no enemies. Only those who have yet to realize that we are all God’s children. (RP)
(BC) The Belgic Confession
(CAC) The Center For Action & Contemplation
(CD) The Canons of Dort
(CIB) Church In Bethesda Prayers
(DZ) Donna Z.
(HC) The Heidelberg Catechism
(MAO) Michael A. O’Sullivan
(NT) The New Testament
(OT) The Old Testament
(RP) Ryan Phipps
(TAO) The Tao Te Ching
(WC) The Westminster Confession
(WLB) Words To Live By
(WLC) The Westminster Larger Catechism
(WSC) The Westminster Shorter Catechism