Proverbs 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
Someone said, “When we make our enemies soulless, they become easy to hate.”
My wife and I were talking about all the injustice and mayhem that has taken place in Central and South America over the past few years. It is an important matter for my wife because she was born in Central America. She has been a Canadian citizen for most of her life, but she still has siblings who live in Central America and we hear of the hardships that go on. Another comment that came out of our conversation was, “The world doesn’t seem to be happy unless they have a people group to hate.” John 4:9 “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? ” she asked him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.
Throughout my whole life, there have been immigrants, refugees, or displaced people that I was supposed to hate and be fearful of. In the Fifties, the slur was, “Better dead than red.” Then it was, “Be fearful of the Boat-People because they will take your jobs.” So much of this Orwellian doublespeak has become commonplace. This fear-filled propaganda has gone on to this day and sometimes sneaks its way into church culture. I heard this statement that I think expresses our human inner fear, “The teeth gnawing at your bones are often your own.”
There is always going to be a nation, a culture, or a people group to spew our mental pus at, because of our fears and prejudices. Yet, God created these nations for Himself and His purpose. Psalm 86:9 All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. The Lord expressly said to go into all the world and share the love and good news of God. Mark 16:15 Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” You cannot share what you do not have. If we do not have the love of God in our heart, then how can we give it away?
At this point in our history, there is an inordinate amount of anger in the world. Everyone hates someone for something or another. Matt. 24:12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. Many protests have become violent screaming matches between similar people from the same neighbourhoods. The bread of violence has become a regular meal among the dissatisfied. Prov. 4:17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. If you need something to hate, then hate the real enemy – sin, greed, and ungratefulness.
Even if all the protesters got everything they wanted, in a short time, the empty space in their ungrateful hearts, would be pulsating toward shouting for something more. Violence and fulminating anger can only produce more of the same. It cannot create real peace. Violence begets violence. Gen. 4:23 Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me.
It is in God’s heart that all nations come and worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Rev. 15:4b All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed. How much is – all? All means all nations and all the people who make up these nations. God does not need our permission to invite who He wants in His eternal kingdom. This is God’s eternal plan and we are invited to take part in it, and it is not our call to determine who we feel deserves to be part of it.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Whosoever – takes in a large part of the world population. The Lord has asked us to love one another and to be God’s hand extended to all people in this world. Our heavenly Father will do the judging that needs to be done. God is better at judgment, because His judgment also has grace within it so that anyone can repent. Matt. 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Let us lay down our mob-made pitchforks for chasing everyone away and get on with God’s plan and stop the hate. Every one of us who has accepted Christ as Lord was once an enemy of God’s kingdom. Yet, while we were sinners and lost in our trespasses and sins, God was loving on us. We are all descendants of some people-group or nation. We are all a whosoever! Let us exchange the bread of violence for the bread of life that comes through Christ. In Jesus name. Amen!