Strongest earthquake in years strikes San Francisco

1 month ago Patheos

“Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” —Psalm 119:24

An earthquake rattled the San Francisco Bay Area yesterday. The strongest quake the region has seen in eight years happened on the Calaveras Fault, one of eight major faults in the Bay Area and a branch of the San Andreas fault line. The event is thus a reminder that earthquakes do not create faults in the earth—they reveal them.

This fact applies to more than geology.

The nineteen-year-old gunman who killed two people and wounded several others at his former St. Louis high school left a handwritten note saying, “I don’t have any friends. I don’t have any family. I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’ve never had a social life. I’ve been an isolated loner my entire life.” According to St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack, “This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter.”

In other news, 2022 has set a record for border crossings and migrant deaths. A man who drove an SUV into a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last November has been found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. Authorities are investigating a woman’s claim in Iowa that her late father was a prolific serial killer who murdered dozens of people over several decades.

And the body of a little boy who was found stuffed inside a suitcase in Indiana has been identified. Local police have announced an arrest, with another suspect still at large.

“A republic, if you can keep it”

The moral challenges we face reveal the foundational fissures created by our postmodern, post-Christian rejection of biblical truth and morality. This crisis was predictable and was, in fact, predicted.

Adam Smith is considered to be the “father of capitalism.” In An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, he advocated for a society in which “every man, as long as he does not violate the laws of justice, is left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man or order of men” (my emphasis).

In The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he added: “Upon the tolerable observance of these duties [such as justice, truth, chastity, and fidelity] depends the very existence of human society, which would crumble into nothing if mankind were not generally impressed with a reverence for those important rules of conduct.” George Mason University economist Erik W. Matson comments: “It is liberty, in Smith’s view, that is at the heart of capitalism, and at the heart of liberty lies commitment to the good of humankind.”

In his magisterial work, Democracy in America, French historian Alexis de Tocqueville explained that this focus on personal morality is “how the Americans combat individualism by the principle of self-interest rightly understood.” He noted that this principle “suggests daily small acts of self-denial” and disciplines us “in habits of regularity, temperance, moderation, foresight, [and] self-command,” drawing us toward “virtue by the will.”

I often state that America’s founders believed consensual morality to be essential to self-governance. Our constitutional checks and balances can only go so far in preserving and advancing our democracy. Government “of the people, by the people, for the people” requires a people capable of self-governance. As Benjamin Franklin famously stated when asked what the Constitutional Convention of 1787 created, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

And so, once again we see that advancing biblical morality is vital to our secular culture.

“Your servant will meditate on your statutes”

Therapists remind us that we cannot change the minds of others merely through the explanation of facts. If people do not want to change, they are unlikely to change.

However, we can demonstrate the transforming personal relevance of biblical truth so fully and powerfully that others may want what we have. As we have noted this week, living boldly and courageously for our Lord is vital to our souls and to our culture.

As an example and a model, consider Psalm 119:23–24: “Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” “Princes” in this context refers to rulers or commanders of the Jewish people. They “sit plotting” against the psalmist—the phrase means that they have gathered together, perhaps behind closed doors, to plan harm against the writer.

Nonetheless, he calls himself God’s “servant”—the word refers to a bondservant or slave, one who must do what his master requests whether he wants to or not. As God’s servant he will “meditate on your statutes”—the Hebrew means that he will focus his attention fully on God’s decrees.

Despite the opposition he faces from his nation’s leaders, the writer makes this commitment happily: “Your testimonies are my delight” (v. 24a), truth in which he finds great joy and pleasure. Furthermore, he will do what these “testimonies” teach: “They are my counselors” (v. 24b).

“Make an effort to be noble”

Such fidelity to biblical truth is no guarantee that we will not be persecuted by those who reject such truth. Nevertheless, the psalmist refused to be deterred from meditating on God’s statutes and enacting them in his life each day.

Dead fish float with the current; live fish swim upstream. God sees every act of unpopular obedience and will reward it forever. Just as he honored “the sons of Zadok, who kept my charge, who did not go astray when the people of Israel went astray, as the Levites did” (Ezekiel 48:11), so he will reward our faithfulness to his word and will.

Oswald Chambers noted, “It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things. It is always necessary to make an effort to be noble.”

How noble will you be today?

Continue reading...

Read On "Patheos"
More News On "Patheos"
12 minutes ago - Brady's throws for 2 late TDs, Buccaneers beat Saints 17-16 12 minutes ago - What we’re hearing about the Mariners on Day 1 of the MLB Winter Meetings 12 minutes ago - Warriors’ Steve Kerr Talks About James Wiseman’s Status 13 minutes ago - A glimpse into Kirstie Alley’s remarkable TV and film career 13 minutes ago - Conservative justices come to same-sex marriage controversy with minds made up 16 minutes ago - Star Trek Fame Kirstie Alley Died at Age 71: Cause of Death Explained 16 minutes ago - ‘We’re not going to stop:’ Two appeals filed in support of St. George incorporation effort ahead of looming deadline 18 minutes ago - Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis & More Celebs Remember Kirstie Alley: ‘I Love You’ 23 minutes ago - Gavin Magnus reveals that he’s still in Love with Piper Rockelle! 24 minutes ago - Rockets outlast 76ers in 2 OTs; Harden 4 for 19 in return 59 minutes ago - “Luka Doncic really don’t f**k with Devin Booker bro”: NBA Twitter Reacts to Vitriol Between Superstars as Mavs Crush Suns 1 hour ago - Kirstie Alley, ‘Cheers’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet’ star, dead at 71 1 hour ago - Here's What Stood Out in Celtics' Win vs. Raptors: Increased Energy and Better Ball Security the Difference-Makers in Second Half Surge 1 hour ago - Phoenix Suns blitzed by Mavericks in Dallas again 1 hour ago - TUCKER CARLSON: This isn't how our system is supposed to work 1 hour ago - Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard reacts to first game-winner since ACL tear 1 hour ago - Kirstie Alley's 2 Kids: Everything to Know 1 hour ago - Coup’s Takeaways: HEAT Run Out Of Time Against Shorthanded Grizzlies 1 hour ago - Keys to the Game: Celtics 116, Raptors 110 1 hour ago - Golden Knights Hand Boston Its First Home Loss in 4-3 SO Win 1 hour ago - Leonard returns, hits game-winner as Clippers beat Hornets 1 hour ago - US Supreme Court hears case pitting free speech against LGBTQ rights 1 hour ago - Ex-Buccaneer Takes Shot at Tom Brady’s Performance 1 hour ago - Instant analysis: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads OKC Thunder past Atlanta Hawks 2 hours ago - Six years later, Warriors look back at Klay Thompson’s 60-point, 11-dribble game 2 hours ago - Cricket 2022: Ellyse Perry cops ban after Sydney Sixers' loss in WBBL final 2 hours ago - Bruins only part way to their game 2 hours ago - Who Were Kirstie Alley’s Husbands? How Many Kids Did She Have? 2 hours ago - Four takeaways as Celtics defeat Raptors 116-110 using huge 3rd quarter 2 hours ago - Kirstie Alley, Emmy-winning actress and ‘Cheers’ star, dies at 71 2 hours ago - Celtics Show Patience Pays as Tatum & Brown Deal Raptors Loss in 'Measurement Game' 2 hours ago - Bucks 109, Magic 102: Markelle Fultz scores 20 points but losing streak continues 2 hours ago - IPL Auction 2023: 3 Australian Players That Punjab Kings Can Target 2 hours ago - Magic Fight Until the End, But Fall Short to Bucks 2 hours ago - Sources: Rumors about AEW roster attitude toward Regal, coaching ‘completely inaccurate’ 2 hours ago - NFL Live Betting Week 13: How We’re Live Betting Saints-Bucs On Monday Night Football 2 hours ago - UCLA Storms Back, Wins Second NCAA Women's Soccer Title 2 hours ago - Live updates: Saints 10, Bucs 3 (third quarter) 2 hours ago - Mavericks vs. Suns live score, updates, highlights: MVP candidates Luka Doncic and Devin Booker go head-to-head 2 hours ago - Buccaneers Could Eye Top Head Coach to Replace Todd Bowles: Analyst 2 hours ago - Hawks’ Trae Young, McMillan try to smooth over dispute 2 hours ago - Tafara Gapare, UMass breeze past Albany, 87-73 3 hours ago - Who is Michael Avenatti? 3 hours ago - Late goals from UCLA doom UNC women's soccer in 3-2 national championship loss 3 hours ago - Man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole bulldogs sentenced to 21 years 3 hours ago - Jason Reitman Hands Ghostbusters: Afterlife Sequel Directing Reins to Gil Kenan 3 hours ago - Andy Cohen Featured On Meghan Markle’s Podcast And Awkwardly Forgets That He’s Previously Met The Duchess Of Sussex 3 hours ago - Young Easthampton climate activist scores royal audience at Celtics game 3 hours ago - Knight, Clooney, U2 feted at Kennedy Center Honors 3 hours ago - "TK [Tony Khan] will release him now" - Wrestling fans lose their minds over wild claims about WWE legend's potential AEW exit 3 hours ago - ABC News avoids Amy Robach, TJ Holmes being benched from 'GMA' as extramarital affair makes headlines 3 hours ago - Saints vs. Buccaneers live score, updates, highlights from NFL 'Monday Night Football' game 3 hours ago - Wenzhou ups efforts for trade, SMEs 3 hours ago - Raw results, live blog: High Stakes Poker 3 hours ago - Gisele Bundchen Leaves Another Comment On Ex Tom Brady’s Instagram After Divorce 4 hours ago - JUST IN: Bell Tiltrotor Wins Billion Dollar Helo Contract 4 hours ago - Man who shot Lady Gaga's dog walker sentenced to 21 years in jail after taking plea deal 4 hours ago - Joe Biden Pokes Fun At George Clooney’s Marriage In Kennedy Center Honors Speech 4 hours ago - Bell beats out Sikorsky to produce US Army’s new assault helicopter 4 hours ago - Report: Lakers tried to get Terry Rozier in 3-team Donovan Mitchell trade over summer
free geoip