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The Word on the Week

History Lessons

After the First World War the Allies decided to teach Germany a lesson. They had fought a very costly war and Germany, it was decided, must pay. The result was a resurgence of nationalism which brought a certain Austrian called Adolf Hitler to the fore and in due course we had the Second World War. After WW2 it would have been easy to make the same mistake and decide to make Germany pay but wiser council prevailed and the Marshall Plan was crafted. It embarked on a program of post-war recovery which poured aid into the stricken country to get it back onto its feet. After Ireland broke the European banking system causing huge problems for the economies of the EC it would be understandable for the countries that paid dearly towards Ireland’s bailout to decide to teach Ireland a lesson and make her pay. The result could be the resurgence of nationalism which could bring a certain ….! Hopefully Europeans are good at history and have learned their lessons. We will know the answer sooner rather than later! What light can the Bible throw on all this? Jesus countered the legalism of his day by twice quoting Hosea’s pronouncement, “I desire mercy not sacrifice” (sacrifice meaning the practice of religious rituals). The first time was to counteract the Pharisees criticism of Him eating with “tax collectors and sinners”. They would have preferred that Jesus condemn them. (St Matthew chapter 9 verse 13). The second occasion was when Jesus was being censured for permitting his disciples to “pluck heads of grain and eat them on the Sabbath”. Clearly those censuring Him would have preferred the disciples to go hungry. Their desire to see the innocent suffer prompted Jesus to remark that if they had known what “I desire mercy not sacrifice” meant, they would not have condemned the guiltless. (St Matthew chapter 12 verse 7.) The ordinary people of Ireland are not guilty of the money manipulation of the banks nor were they complicit in the St Patrick’s Day massacre of Anglo Irish bank’s shares. These enormous debts should not be laid to our account. As to those responsible for the economic meltdown, they may appear to go free but are answerable to a higher court. There they need the services of the only Advocate who has made the ultimate sacrifice for sinners so they had better be good at their history lessons and put their trust in the Saviour now.