Last week I stayed at the Crown Astor in New Orleans for a military conference. On Friday night I got almost no sleep. On the fifth floor near my room was a group of visiting university students. Evidently, the guys partnered with girls to drink and engage in loud and vulgar revelry. It saddened me to think how many parents don’t care or have no idea what their children are doing.
Saturday after a delicious dinner with my commanders at the Pelican Restaurant we walked along the infamous Bourbon Street where Mardi Gras occurs each year. The road was lined with bars geared towards illicit sex, people drinking and looking for entertainment. Collectively we concluded that even on a “tame” night, the road must somehow link to Sodom and Gomorrah. We did not linger long on a path filled with temptation.
Exodus 32:9,10,30—The LORD also said to Moses: “I have seen this people, and they are indeed a stiff-necked people. Now leave Me alone, so that My anger can burn against them and I can destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation” . . . The following day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. Now I will go up the LORD; perhaps I will be able to pay for your sins.”
In the heart of Bourbon Street was a sign proclaiming Jesus and help for anyone in need. A group of men and women stood ready to talk to passersby. Two things occurred to me. First, it was not surprising that followers of Jesus would be here. “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds” (Matthew 11:19). It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the spiritually sick. Second, I saw no people offering help through Buddha, Muhammad, or any other religious figure. Why is it that in the most desperate, evil places, Jesus can often be found? To me, the greatest proof that He is God’s Son and the world’s sole Savior is His presence on a street the demons manage; where His name is a swearword and object of derision. Jesus loves where lust destroys, voodoo threatens, hearts are broken, minds are bent on evil, and wickedness is fed by hands moved by the vilest imaginations.
God will hold accountable those who reject Him for their own evil agendas. His judgment will be fierce and terrible. But where we find Jesus we find hope. We discover that it is not religion that assuages the empty soul it is a faith relationship with a Messiah slaughtered by the same stiff-necked people who rejected Yahweh for a golden calf. On a day when He was determined to wipe out an entire nation, He listened instead to the pleas of Moses to spare them. We should not be surprised then, that on a street named for whiskey, God still mercifully offers Living Water. Something to think about . . . in reveration.
If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away but the good remains; if you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away and the evil remains.—Marcus Tullius Cicero
©2011 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)