The Dark Night Rises
James Holmes, the 24 year old mass murderer, and his deadly assault on movie-goers in Aurora, Colorado has a nation mourning and searching for answers.
He also has reminded us once again of the depths of depravity to which the human heart can sink.
America searches for answers
For now, political leaders on both sides of the aisle have ceased firing at one another and proclaimed a unified front of empathy, compassion and solidarity. Once the smoke clears and the pain is not so raw and immediate (except for those whose loss was firsthand), the white-hot topic of gun control will once again come to the fore.
Jeremiah Learned the Answer
Regardless of where you stand on gun laws, let me say unequivocally that regulating access to weaponry is not at the heart of the matter. The human heart is the heart of the matter.
This tragedy reminds me of the words of Jeremiah 17:1-10.
Jeremiah’s points are as pertinent to the plight of 21st century Americans as they were to the prophet’s fellow citizens in the long-forgotten past:
- Their primary sin was idolatry—Jeremiah 17:1. The people had become worshipers of their environment, of the creation. They had turned from the Creator. So it is with America. The beautiful, spacious skies, the amber waves of grain, the purple mountains majesty have ceased to point us to the their Maker.
- They were about to lose all they had—Jeremiah 17:4. “You will let go of your heritage which I gave you.” The blessings, the freedom, the prosperity we have enjoyed as a nation have not been so much the fruits of our labors as they have been the blessings of our God. But we, like Israel of old, have forgotten the hand from which all blessings flow.
- They cursed themselves by trusting solely in themselves and their human leaders—Jeremiah 17:5. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man.”
- They were admonished to put their trust—and place their hope—in God alone. Jeremiah 17:7-8. In the wake of tragedy, heartache and loss, to whom do we look for answers? When we see the awful consequences of unchecked sin in a life and how it harms even the innocent, where do we turn for answers? Are we that tree planted by the waters, whose roots run so deep that the winds of adversity and confusion may shake our limbs and bend us, but never topple us?
- They were reminded that every human heart is prone to wickedness, evil devices and depraved behavior—Jeremiah 17:9. Not many in our number will ever act out in such a destructive, heartless way, but our fallen nature is completely capable of atrocious sins, offensive acts, evil thoughts, desperate yearnings, depraved imaginings.
- They were warned of the Law of God, the law of sowing and reaping, which is woven into the fabric of His creation—Jeremiah 17:10.
Jesus IS the Answer
Maybe it sounds cliche. Maybe we have sung it and said it until we hardly believe it anymore. But as the dark night of the last days rises, Jesus is the answer.
Only His light can pierce this darkness.
1 Peter 5:6-11
(Hint: place your cursor over the highlighted Scripture passages and you can read them.)