Column – Change is inevitable; it’s always been that way
Published 1:13 am Saturday, August 6, 2022
By Myrtle Thompson
No one doubts we are today in an era of changing times.
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The 21st century dawned in 2001. The fast-moving past two decades are like a picture of the nearby ocean as it rolls in and out. The water left behind is soon swallowed up and only sand is left until the next wave overtakes it. A visual image can capture the scene.
Such is our vague reminder of history, both as we daily experienced it in the past and as it was written down for us in the Bible. We do well when we remember that God has never lost control of what he planned from the beginning of creation. He set down laws but changes through the millennia often left the prophets and the people wondering what would happen next, just as we are left wondering in our day.
Like Israel and Judah in the millennia before Christ, we have become a divided nation, politically and morally. Both they and we once believed God gave us the blessings of the land, but in time he became an unwanted guest. The desire for his just laws as found in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are no longer appreciated as authority for a better life. A younger generation is a changed generation politically and morally.
Proposed changes in our Constitution along with changes in word usage and meanings, body and body language, civility and law are all proliferating. The words “transition” and “transitioning” are reminders our culture is changing and with it a change in language.
Referring to a baby as a fetus when it is being destroyed tends to “soften” the reality until we realize more than 62 million of them die that painful death each year. If the emphasis was placed on the human “intervention” — how that baby came to be — it might bring on some changes in our thinking. God’s plan was love for babies. Even the non-human creation understands that and lovingly cares for its young.
Biblical world history tells us what we can expect when we reject God. Almost 3 millennia ago Assyria captured the 10 tribes of Israel and took them out of their land. We know little of their scattered records. Judah and the remaining two tribes had a moment of repentance before they returned to sinful ways and were overtaken by Babylon. The land was decimated. The Medo-Persian empire was the home of Daniel when he wrote about future events and coming kingdoms.
In the BC/BCE era between Malachi and Matthew, a conqueror named Alexander the Great led Greece into victory until his exhausted army was stopped in India, sometime around 300 BC. Rome was the next world ruler of prominence.
Not all changes were bad, but with power and brutality came weapons of hatred, not peace. The world was still in turmoil, its leaders vying for political and religious control when Jesus was born.
Jesus’ message told those who listened how to make changes. They had to give up the right to themselves. “You must be born again,” he said (John 3.) It was his willingness to die for our sins that can bring the needed change, but there can be no drive-thru experience. Our trust in God for change must be a firm commitment to what he has planned.
In God’s economy there is never a road for turning back. God will forgive our sins if we ask, bringing the change of eternal life.
The aspirations and inspirations we had for this 21st century are now outdated. Future historians may regard the phenomenon that was America just a relic of the past. The illusion that we can battle anything without God is destined to fail.
Our own BC (Before COVID-19) era — like the one before Jesus came — was changed by king COVID-19’s domination. We desperately need to turn our hearts and lives back to God for our salvation from the evil that seems determined to undo us.
It will come only when we ask his forgiveness for our sinful ways. A praying people will have his peace, if not unity.
Myrtle V. Thompson is a Suffolk resident, a Bible teacher, writer and an author. A book about her life, “Living in Villages, Visiting in Palaces,” is available through Amazon. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.