Monday, March 12, 2007

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

That is the phrase that came to mind as I finished up reading the book of Judges. The two concluding stories of Micah and his silver idol/mercenary priest, and of the renegade Benjaminites are weird. And sad. And reflect the kind of foolishness, stupidity, brutishness, vileness and obstinance that mark the worst of human communities. Underneath the veneer of many a suburb and local neighborhood can be a seething hostility to anyone different, to anyone who threatens a preferred way of life, to anyone who prevents guilty pleasures.

This particular story reveals the wretched condition of these leaderless tribes. People were doing whatever they thought was right in their own eyes. Everybody was totally justified in their own eyes, imagine the thick self-righteousness that choked the air, the blatant perversions that prevailed because no one could tell someone else what to do.

So unlike some pockets of our world today.

The end of this story in Judges leads to the story of Ruth: the land and its people are in need of a deliverer - and Boaz will have a boy who will create a family from which God will eventually bring redemption.

There are those who bemoan how bad our world is today. And there are those who revel in it. And there are those who seek the peace of the city where they live, who seek to redeem what is favored by God, to preserve like salt what nourishes the soul, and defend the fatherless and the widows.

Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done - On Earth Today as it is in Heaven.

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