Trading Away Blessings

Trading Away Blessings

I attended Grace Church today and Pastor Fred Shuckert’s message was titled “Trading away the blessings of God”. He has been going through a summer series based upon the Kings of Judah.

Sensing perhaps that some may be getting a little weary of this subject, he said:

“There may be something we can learn from this.”

I began thinking about his statement, and what follows are my thoughts and what I learned from this, probably not exactly what Pastor Fred had in mind…:):)

One of the things that could be learned from this is that God does not want his Spiritual followers, Jewish or Christians to have our allegiances to kingdoms of this world more than the Kingdom of God.

When Israel demanded a king, God told Samuel they had not rejected Samuel, but had rejected God. Their young men would be drafted to war and the king would take a tenth of their income….

To me, these kings were just murky shadows of the King to come and the Kingdom to come, as is the whole Old Testament, for that matter.

Israel was dispersed to live beyond any specific kingdom of the world and early Christians were also dispersed to live within kingdoms of this world and live within political systems but to look beyond these kingdoms, politics, kings and earthly leaders to a Kingdom not of this world.

We must look past the shadows of the Old Covenant, as prosperous and powerful as they sometimes have seemed to the reality expressed in the exact representation and being of God revealed in the light of Jesus. In the brilliant radiance of Jesus, we see the image of God. We look beyond the shadows, the shadows cast by Old Testament kings and beyond the shadows of nationalism in today’s world. We serve no master, no Lord, but Jesus.

One of the signs of having our allegiance misplaced as followers of God is the placement of our trust in political systems. Another is going to war to fight and kill others created in God’s image, and the confiscation of our productiveness to pay for these wars. Actually, more correctly, we are borrowing against the future productiveness and blessings due our children to conduct our attempts to dominate others through warfare.

The things the church and all humankind needs to cry out in repentance for are the worshipping of false Gods Jesus came to publicly display and defeat…. gods of politics, gods of nationalism, gods of materialism, gods of war.

In the United States, and much of the rest of the world, it appears we have already traded away most of our blessings for these little gods mentioned above, owing in the United States $16 Trillion that we have borrowed against the assets of our children to trade or swap the our blessings of God for the “blessings” of materialism, domination, war, abuse of our environment, and political systems.

I think all us on this formerly abundant and blessed earth we are to dress and keep should take a longer term view of our duties to an Eternal Being. Perhaps that vision should include an awareness that we are not going to die, then begin living in eternity, but that we are already living in eternity. How could it possibly be otherwise? Eternity does not “begin” when we die. Our decisions also have eternal consequences now. We can choose to continue to trade away our blessings, or we can choose as human brothers and sisters to live a way of peace exemplified by Jesus, the projected King, and begin to care for each other, and this blessed earth NOW, not trading those blessings away for trinkets of temporary and temporal satisfaction, or aggrandizement of our own dominational egos.

Just my take on what we need to learn from this….

John Cooper

About jcooperforpeace
Spiritual Director, Spirituality of Inner Peace

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