The Word on the Week

Signs of the Times

The men of Issachar were commended because they understood the times and knew what Israel ought to do” 1 Chronicles ch.12 v 32. We could do with some of these men today to show us what Ireland ought to do!

An attempt was made this week by a letter writer to a National newspaper. His letter quoted Archbishop Fulton J Sheen who wrote the following some 50 years ago.

“It is a characteristic of any decaying civilisation that the great masses of the people are unaware of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives. Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times.

If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated? Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.”

Predictably, the next day, a letter was printed aimed at silencing churchmen on the basis that the abuse, which was concealed within their ranks, had removed their right to make critical comment. The Archbishop’s comments were said to be more appropriately applied to the church. The “Liberal agenda”, it was claimed, had rescued Ireland from such people and to prove it the law is being changed along liberal lines.

We are back into Biblical territory; the Word versus the World. The problem is that few understand the Word. As the Archbishop said; “only those who live by faith know what is happening”. His final sentence goes on to quote from The Revelation to John ch.2 v 4/5 writing to the church at Ephesus; “But I have this against you that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first”.

What were these works? They heard the Gospel, were converted to Jesus and destroyed their idols. It’s all in Acts ch.19. If the men of Issachar were here today they might well be saying, repent, turn to Jesus and burn the liberal agenda!

It is only as people come to faith in Christ that they can see the idols that they had been blindly following. May the Spirit of the living God open eyes in Ireland in these times.