Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were sojourners. While they made mistakes, they
believed God and were willing to go into the unknown. God’s word to them was
that through them, He would bless ALL NATIONS(Genesis 12:1-3). God made
and confirmed His Covenant with them several times to do exactly that. He has
kept His Word and has never deviated from Genesis 1:28. But often we do. Like
the people at the tower, we build upon clay to reach the sky rather than be a
light in the world.
Israel carried Abraham’s mission to serve the world as priests, to intercede for
nations (see Exodus 19:6). The prophets often rebuked Israel for losing sight
of the long-range purpose (see Isaiah 43:10-11). They were not chosen for
their superiority, they were chosen to be a light to the nations just like the
Patriarchs (see Isaiah 49:6; Acts 13:47). In their failure to see God’s long-range
purpose, they were scattered, dispersed…not once but twice (see Ezekiel 11:17).
Those scattered Jews are called the “Diaspora,” the dispersed.
We could call that dispersion “a judgment” and often a tragedy. Nevertheless,
they were dispersed to God’s original intent to bless all nations, and in many
ways said, they are being regathered a second time. Perhaps the greatest
testimony to God is the fulfillment of His prophetic Word and purpose. When
we forget that, we are headed for trouble.
The Pilgrims who sailed to America are aptly named because they resumed
the Abrahamic faith and journey. They left conformity and tyranny to practice
their faith. Upon landing, they resorted to a “collective” economic approach
and socialism; that failed and led to starvation. When they changed to personal
responsibility and an entrepreneurial economy, they flourished in abundance.
The American Founders understood the essentially of personal freedom and
responsibility; they established a system to divide the power of government
and guarantee personal “liberty and justice for all.” While neither they nor their
system were perfect, millions of people have and continue to migrate at great
cost in order to reap the benefits of liberty. The flow of humanity to those shores
Our human tendency is to a human-centered vision, human glory, and to avoid
personal mission that is outward. Collective responsibility, glory, and
accomplishment are attractive to those who do not want to go out in faith. We
love “towers” as Babel did or as Nebuchadnezzar did in building a great statue
to his own glory.
As our culture got away from God and His Word after World War II, we have
increasingly moved toward a “let the government do it” or “let the church do it”
attitude. Government, church, and other institutions can do a lot but they can
never replace personal faith and personal mission. The government or church
“institutional mentality” is built on bricks of clay, just as communism, Nazism
or other “isms” have been. The motive may be better, but the loss of personal
responsibility is dangerous.
Who knows what will bring back a “dispersion” from central responsibility to
personal responsibility? I would hope that it would be a return to Jesus and His
Spirit. When that happens, the corporate culture is Jesus-centered and not