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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thomas Jefferson and the Pursuit of Truth

"He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors" Thomas Jefferson 

"In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote."
Daniel 5:5

Approximately 538 BC, a new king ruled Babylon, Belshazzar the son of Nebuchadnezzar. A young man who appeared to have ideas different from his father and who was in love with his prosperity.

At the conclusion of his life, Nebuchadnezzar wrote:
"Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase." Daniel 4:37
Nebuchadnezzar experienced the humbling press of God's hand on him and gained knowledge. Made a madman, he ate grass like the beasts until he knew that the most High God ruled the kingdom of men, giving it to whomsoever He will. He learned God's sovereignty.

His son, however, seemed not to have learned from his father. Belshazzar made a great feast. He took the holy items his father had taken from the house of God and used them in the worship of gods of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood and stone. He denied the one true God as worthy of honor and worship, and exalted man-made objects in His place. In essence, mocking God.

At the changing of a king, God proved He was still in control. He put out His hand and proclaimed:
"...God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it....Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting...Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." Daniel 5:26b-28
Belshazzar had believed falsehoods and errors about his gods and about the One True God. He seemed ignorant of the humbling his father endured before Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged all God's works are truth and that God makes abase the proud. Because of his vanity, Belshazzar was slain that night.

God sees America today. He knows whose minds are filled with falsehoods and errors and who knows truth. He knows who has denied Him for the gods of wealth and prosperity and fame and power, and who hasn't. God knows the heart of each citizen in minute detail, and He knows the waves of society washing against the sands of truth.

Election day is coming, and America will make a decision about the direction it will go. Each voter has or will make a choice based on his perception of truth. When the votes are numbered and finished, when our decisions regarding the future of our country is weighed in the balances, will America be found wanting?

This is a country that holds high the banner of separation from church and state. Yet the core of each person's values and beliefs determines the decisions he makes. You cannot separate a person's true faith from his actions. If your action denies the faith you proclaim, then you did not have that faith. True faith in God lives and breathes through the conversations (words and actions) of those who place their trust in Him. If you don't obey and hold to the truths of His Word, your faith is lacking. 
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." James 2:17-18
On November 6, what will your ballot say about your values and beliefs? Will God look at it and find you wanting--find that you do not acknowledge God and the truth He lays out for every area of life (from conception to eternity) and society (from law, to justice, to fashion, and more) in the Scriptures?

Our country is already divided. The question is, will God give us to the Medes and Persians...will we find ourselves in further captivity and taken further from the "Promised Land" many colonialists believed America would be?
I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.
Thomas Jefferson


  1. A great word - shared it on facebook - timely and well writ.

  2. Thank you, Lynn. I have long felt that this election would be a winnowing point for our nation.

    I second Kathryn's comments above, and will be sharing on facebook, linkedin, and twitter.

    Grace and peace,

    1. Judith and Kathryn, I, like Jefferson, fear for our country. More than that, I fear for the souls of our citizens. So many have come to hate even the name of Jesus Christ. Yet, God loves even those that hate Him.

      While we pray for this election we must also pray those who do not know Jesus as their personal saviour will hear the Gospel and come to the truth. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me." John 14:6

  3. Great post, Lynn. Many times in the past, God has used unbelievers to forward His kingdom.

    1. Thanks Janet. To God be all glory, praise and honor. He is sovereign, and we can trust Him.

      My personal verse these past few weeks has been I Peter 1:13 "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."

      The people Peter was writing to were experiencing great persecution. He encouraged them to keep their hearts and minds focused on their redemption, on the hope of eternal life they had because of their faith in the precious blood of Christ.

      I wonder what people will be thinking when they make their vote. Will those who are saved be thinking of eternity or only of today?

  4. Well written as always.Your opening is one of my favorite Jefferson quotes. I believe each voter will, most certainly, be voting on Tuesday according to the values of his faith, as we do in every election. The right to vote is a solemn duty as well as a right. The problem is we do not all share the same values even though we all share the name Christian and confess the Savior. We as Christians are as divided and diverse as the country we live in. Discerning which candidate most closely adheres to the core values one believes Jesus taught has become more difficult with each new advance in communication technology. At no time in our history has so much been said, by so many, in so many deceptive and deceitful ways and at such an enormous cost.

    1. When Paul met with the pastors from Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem he said, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:29-30)

      Yes, many claim the name Christian but are not. Many confess a savior, but not the Jesus of the Bible. How can you discern? Study the Bible. Know it inside and out. Believe it to be the divinely inspired Word of God. Compare Scripture with Scripture - let the Bible interpret itself. Then use it as a measure for what people claim they believe who profess to be Christian, or who call themselves pastors or put themselves in the position of spiritual leadership.

      Many claim to be Christian but do not know God's work nor live by it. They bring to the Bible their own ideas of what it should say then squeeze from it the words they wish it to say. We are all capable of this and guilty of this. That is why good Christian fellowship under Godly leadership is important. But when a church leader claims something is Scriptural that is not, then consider carefully whether or not he be one of those wolves Paul spoke of.

      Jesus didn't come to make life easy. He came to seek and to save that which is lost. Yes, He healed the sick and fed the hungry and showed tremendous compassion. He gave us that example. But He also refused to give these gifts of healing and food when the people were not seeing His real purpose for coming. Study John 6.

      "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." John 6:26-27.

      When the people asked what they should do to work the works of God, Jesus replied:

      "this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John 6:29

      But they continued to want a sign so that they would believe. They still wanted bread, but Jesus stood firm on giving them the Gospel:

      "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40

      If you believe the truth about Jesus Christ (and are truly saved), if you study the Scripture, repent of any thoughts or opinions you have that are not consistent with the Scriptures, pray and listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit, God will make it very clear to you how you should vote.

  5. Great comments by the readers and perceptive commentary by you, Lynn. May the watchmen on the wall be heard and heeded.

  6. My comfort rests in the fact that all secular governments and authorities exist by the will of God and according to his purpose. On Nov. 7th we will have a President who was elected according to God's plan just as Washington was.

    I will try to fulfill my obligations as Christian and as a good citizen by choosing the man I think best suited to the Presidency but as I said before the blatant deceit and deceptions of both campaigns, compounded by the immense amount of money spent on ads from from unidentified sources makes it very difficult.

    Neither candidate or political party embodies the values that Jesus or the apostles taught, nor does our country. This is after all the secular world. Since we all 'see dimly' as Paul said, I believe we will see Christians voting, in good conscience but with reservations, for both candidate.

    As Matthew Henry said "Nothing is more likely to insnare the followers of Christ, than bringing them to meddle with disputes about worldly politics."


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