George Washington, probably American’s most famous leader, once said, “Show not yourself glad at the misfortune of another, though he were your enemy. Be not hasty to believe flying reports to the disparagement of any.” How true those sage words ring today! And how well we would do to heed them.
Turn on the news and see if it does not seem that a reckless media rapidly assassinates the character and reputation of those they disdain or rush to the premature defense of those they champion. Rather than investigate they salivate. This is the telltale sign that truth is not important if it stands in the way of agenda and, that hype is more laudable than help.
Jeremiah 49:7—About Edom, this is what the Lord of Hosts says: Is there no longer wisdom in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom rotted away?
God was unhappy with the nation of Edom who was deceived by a presumptuous heart (vs. 16). She had no love for Israel. She gleefully celebrated her demise and contributed to it whenever and however possible. So heaven pronounced that “Bozrah will become a desolation, a disgrace, a ruin, and a curse, and all her cities will become ruins forever” (vs. 13). Bozrah was Edom’s capital city. God wiped out Edom because she was thoroughly corrupt. For similar reasons He allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed and the Jews marched to captivity.
When a presumptuous nation sacrifices prudence on the altar of debauchery—look out, a horrendous collapse looms near. Prudence is defined by discretion. It requires caution with respect to practical matters and involves self-interest from a premise of wisdom. Therefore, when a nation’s mouthpiece, its media, no longer cherishes accuracy the evidence is unmistakable as Jesus taught, that what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart “and this defiles a man” (Matthew 15:18) or, in our case, a nation. “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies" (vs. 19).
Prudence is the governor which prevents us from rushing to judgment, from gloating in an opponent’s misery, from propagating lies to support clever schemes, from torching accountability to paint bright facades, from spewing accusations at the expense of integrity. Without prudence we perish. We fall off the cliff we pretend does not exist after leaving the narrow path to traipse through the fog of our own making. The value of prudence is careful examination, honest introspection and noble investigation to establish, esteem and encourage truth. May God bring us to our senses before we have totally embraced senselessness.
Inscription at Mount Vernon
Washington, the brave, the wise, the good,
Supreme in war, in council, and in peace,
Valiant without ambition, discreet without fear,
Confident without presumption.
In disaster, calm; in success, moderate; in all, himself.
The hero, the patriot, the Christian,
The father of nations, the friend of all mankind,
Who, when he had won all, renounced all,
And sought in the bosom of his family and of nature, retirement,
And in the hope of religion, immortality.—Hugh Graham in An American Treasury
©2019 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)