Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Defining Greatness!

“An important chapter in our history has come to an end. Our country has lost a great leader, who picked up the torch of his fallen brothers and became the greatest United States Senator of our time.” --- statement by President Barack Obama on occasion of the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, August 26, 2009

Our mass media outlets will be saturated with information related to Edward Kennedy now that he has crossed over into that realm known as eternity.

There will be no end to the praises of what he did, having served longer as a senator except for two other persons in the history of the U. S. Congress. He is described as having compiled a very impressive “list of legislative achievements on health care, civil rights, education, immigration and more.”

A couple or so questions can be asked – “Is the country better off now than when Kennedy began his first term as a senator in 1962?” Is the nation standing at a higher ethical, moral and spiritual level now because of his powerful influence and the fact that he is considered the “greatest U. S. Senator of our time” according to B. O?

Remember in those early years of Kennedy’s term of office that significant changes did take place in our nation – we had court decisions that literally kicked God out of the classroom with no more prayer and no more Bible reading permitted and some years later another insane court decision that said it is perfectly acceptable for a female to arrange to have her unborn son or daughter destroyed before birth – the ushering in of the United States’ version of “Holocaust!”

So, again, think for a moment – are we at a higher level now than we were when Edward Kennedy began serving as senator? Do we have a higher standard of morals – are we closer to our Creator – is He being honored more in our personal lives and in our national life now than 50 years ago? We all know the answer to that one, don’t we?

There is the human way of defining greatness and starting with today and over the next number of days we will see that all played out – if you aren’t careful you will not see visions of sugar plums in your dreams – you will see Kennedy again and again!

Then there is God’s way of defining greatness with a notable example given of how this is. It is from the book of Joshua and features a man by that name who was a leader among the Hebrew people as they began to occupy the land promised to them by God.

Just a few words will make it clear regarding the U. S. definition of greatness as it pertains to political leaders as opposed to God’s definition.

First, look at God’s instruction as to how Joshua was to prepare himself for leadership responsibility and especially notice the guarantee of "good success":

"Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." --- Joshua 1:7-9

Second, look at the influence a truly great leader had on the people in a very simple statement that says it all – something you do not see today:

Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel. --- Joshua 24:31

Ought we not to pray that God will raise up a number of Joshuas to provide sane, sensible and stable leadership for our beloved republic which now finds itself wallowing in a quagmire, sinking deeper as each day passes?

And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God." --- Jesus speaking in Luke 16:15

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