One thing that is easy to overlook is that the biblical characters of old were very much like we are. In other words, their personalities were no different than the ones people have today. I was reminded of this fact when I was reading earlier today in the book of the prophet, Habakkuk, in particular verse three of the opening chapter where he wrote: “Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.” Here, in his opening grievance to God it is pretty obvious that he was greatly troubled by the things he saw all around him on a regular basis. His complaint: “Why do you let me see these things?” C’mon, have you ever griped about the evil and cruel things you see all around us constantly? Do you ever wonder why God permits them to happen? So did Habakkuk!
As God’s true children, it is reasonable to say that we are much different today than we were before Christ came into our lives. I think about that every time I turn away when I see a dog roaming a street that has heavy traffic. Years ago, when ACS did things differently, I would turn away, sometimes even turn in an opposite direction whenever I saw the dogcatcher trucks. The last thing I wanted to see was some poor unsuspecting critter being carted off to his impending extermination. The thing is, I wasn’t always like that. As a young man, I would coldly and unceremoniously kill chickens and turkeys in my dad’s poultry store. It was a well known put-down phrase at the time but it was true with me: I was once an old chicken plucker. Today, I even have a hard time killing roaches.
This reminds us of another truth. What we see can affect us, some more than others. Let me give you a brutal example: From the pulpit, I could say that Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8) and it may not make that much of an impact. On the other hand, if we were to show on the overhead screen the actual killing of a lamb while I was reading the verse, that would really bring the point home. That would make a lasting impression in the minds and hearts of many. In fact, many in the audience would get up and leave. Why? Most people don’t want to “see” such things. The lesson is apparent: Let’s avoid seeing anything that may affect us negatively and on the things that we can’t, let’s ask God to give us the grace and the strength to endure it.
God’s word for today: (Luke 19:41) “Now as He (Jesus) drew near, He saw the city and wept over it.”