Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gathering in Christ

Ecclesiastes 4:4
Again, I saw that for all toil and every skillful work, a man is envied by his neighbor. This also is vanity and grasping for the wind.

If you go back to the origin of civilization, you find it was founded by a murderer. Among the good things, the shielding and protecting things, that are the outcome of civilization, what Solomon mentions is always to be found -- the crushing of someone in order to get gain. It may be done kindly or brutally, but the basis of success must be the crushing of something or someone. There is a rivalry between men, and we have made it a good thing; we have made ambition and competition the very essence of civilized life. No wonder there is no room for Jesus Christ and no room for the Bible. We are all so scientifically orthodox nowadays, so materialistic and certain that rationalism is the basis of things, that we make the Bible out to be the most revolutionary, unorthodox and heretical of books. Jesus Christ echoes Solomon’s attitude: “For one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses.”

At the basis of trade and civilized life lie oppression and tyranny. Whether you are king or subject, says Solomon, you cannot find joy in any system of civilized life -- or in trade or commerce --for underneath, there is a rivalry that stings and bites, and the kindest man will put his heel on his greatest friend. These are not the blind statements of a disappointed man, but statements of facts discerned by the wisest man that ever lived.

Excerpts from Oswald Chambers
Daily Devotional Bible, Reading 240 (8/28)
From Shade of His Hand

I found this photograph once on Facebook, but I forgot to note who took it -- sorry!

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