Friday, May 28, 2010

Deeply Troubled

Yesterday, President Obama closed his prepared statements concerning the BP oil spill with these chilling words:

This oil spill is an unprecedented disaster. The fact that the source of the leak is a mile under the surface, where no human being can go, has made it enormously difficult to stop. But we are relying on every resource and every idea, every expert and every bit of technology, to work to stop it. We will take ideas from anywhere, but we are going to stop it.

There is a parallel here to humanity's ultimate problem, namely our problem with sin and evil. This condition is also deep below the surface, pouring out hazardous effects, and "very difficult to stop" (understatement!).

In this sense, the oil spill is not unprecedented but precedented.

This oil spill is deeply troubling. It is an example of how unseen human sins (whether selfishness, sloppiness, or greed) spill over and produce tangible, huge, deadly results. The prophet Hosea said that because of human sin, animals and fish die (Hosea 4:3)--seems like a strange verse until something like this takes place!

Also deeply troubling is the idea that we, as a nation, would rely solely on human willpower and ability to solve such a problem. President Obama referred to relying on "every" Another prophet, Isaiah, pronounced woe upon those who "rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD" (Isaiah 31:1).

I once engraved a Bible with the slogan "No Horses!" Unfortunately, this is a longstanding American tradition. We have a "can do" attitude, which serves one well when combined with praise--but serves any person or nation poorly when combined with pride.

I pray for a resolution to this disaster. I praise God for a resolution, through Jesus, of humanity's ancient and disastrous decision to turn away from our gracious Creator.

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