Social media seems to be all the craze and has been for the past decade. It really has changed the way we communicate and certainly has made the world a smaller place. I find it particularly humorous watching the older generation acclimate to the technology and it’s ever changing pace. The benefits are evident but as with the good, so comes the bad and below is a post I found myself reviewing recently on Facebook. The post was related to bullying, with a rather disturbing video to add context to the message. The video proceeded to show a group of young people standing together listening to something on a mobile device one of them had. In an instant one of the youth standing by struck the boy holding the device, knocking him to the ground. The others, obviously aware of what was going to happen, proceed to laugh and heap insults on the unassuming victim. After encouraging the injured and disoriented young man to his feet, the main instigator stuck the boy in the face knocking him out. If that was not sickening enough, the video ends with assailants having to be convinced to not stomp or assault the defenseless young man any further. Needless to say, I’m thankful to the assailants who were smart enough to record their crime in celebration of what they had done, ensuring delivery to the proper authorities for justice to be served.
The anti-bulling point made, the bulk of news fodder always seems to prioritize everything that is wrong in the world. It is fed to us as if it was a dietary staple that our bodies would not function without. Violence, indiscretion, injustice and social dysfunction fill the menu and bombard us on mass; with the 2016 United States presidential election topping the desert cake.
As the party primaries played out, we got to witness how people representing the interests of their own party could tear each other to pieces; only to advocate for the winner in the end. The presidential election itself took this to a new level and yes, I can say the candidates involved have done themselves no favors. In what should be a time of celebration for the country, the people are left to sift through the thickest mud slung by those who are supposed to exemplify the hope and future of what was said to be the greatest country on earth. Instead we are bearing witness to the opposite; an atmosphere polluted with anxiety, fear and insecurity. I’m not a prophet by any stretch but I do feel history, biblical history in particular, can shed light on what the end result of all of this could be.
History, if understood correctly, can often be the great indicator and difference maker. It warns those with an ear to hear, almost prophetically, that treading the roads often trod today will only produce the same results it has in the past. The issue is a social one. How we interact relationally is the root and what is taking place today vs. what took place yesteryear shows nothing has changed and is a sentiment shared thousands of years ago by a king considered to be the greatest king to ever live.
Ecclesiastes 1 v 4 – 11 bear the heart of a king lamenting for his generation and generations to come. It is a heart crying out when Solomon states the following:
“The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations, and even those yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow them.”
If Insanity is described as doing the same thing over and over expecting different results then we are in need of a break. Were it not for the life and testimony of another witness; the God man who walked the earth over 2000 years ago, I shudder think if the change could be made.
In a previous writing I had noted the struggles some, including myself have had with what to do with the Old Testament and feel this discussion warrants another look at it. In light of the finished work of the cross and the resurrection, the Old Testament is just as relevant today as it was to those early believers thousands of years ago. In the study of Old Testament scripture we understand the origin of man, sin and our strained relationship with our creator. Facing a struggle, we alone cannot overcome, the Father orchestrated the solution in his son Jesus, paving the way to a restored life and restored relationship with Him. History illustrates this hand of God and the Savior to come from beginning texts of Genesis to his arrival in the 1st gospel of the New Testament. In imploring those who should have known Jesus states the following in John 5 v 39:
“You pore over the Scriptures because you presume that by them you possess eternal life. These are the very words that testify about Me,”
From that moment his life was to testify to the heart of God in light of the heart of man; the intensions God in light of the intensions of man.
In thinking on the above a few questions come to mind. Is there a testimony greater than all we see? What should the testimony of our lives be? Acts 1 v 8 provides us with the insight to these questions when Jesus said:
“But you will receive power the when Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea and all of Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”
The lives we live testify that Jesus is alive and at work through the power of the Spirit in us; a testimony available to anyone who’s heart turns to him. It is this witness that still testifies today for those with ears to hear and eyes to see.
To close, as death loomed for Jesus in John 18 v 37, he answers Pilot with the following, ”for this reason I was born and have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to My voice.” What does this voice say? As the course of a great Casting Crowns song states, my heart proclaims:
“But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth”
It is this testimony, a mission and message of love and salvation that gives one true hope in light of all the voices heard and all that is seen under the sun today. What are great reason to be thankful and to give thanks.
God is love! God gives grace! The offer is to all for all time.
God Bless – Sean Bosse