by Del Tackett
One of the most fascinating aspects of God’s nature is that He delegates authority and power. We see this from the very beginning of creation when He grants to plants and animals and human beings the authority and responsibility to reproduce, to be fruitful, to multiply and fill the earth. He even delegates to man the privilege to ask God’s Hand to move, such that if he does not ask, he will not have, as Jesus said. Even the inanimate creation has been delegated the power to operate according to the capabilities God has granted them. Electrons orbit, heat transfers, Earth rotates, gravity pulls, clouds rain, tides ebb and flow. The whole of creation has been equipped, empowered and delegated authority and responsibility granted by God to fulfill its divine purposes.
I have increasingly come to believe that this is the modus operandi of God because it is a deep reflection of his true love and grace, seeking the fruitfulness of His creatures, fruit that, in turn, brings glory to God.
But, alas, in a fallen world, true love and delegation of authority is not always executed with righteousness. Electrons and tides obey God, but man does not. One of the most consistent acts of evil is when man defies God and consolidates power to himself well beyond what God had designed. Saul did so and lost his throne; Nebuchadnezzar boasted of his excessive power and found himself in a pasture eating grass like a cow; Uzziah tried to assume authority beyond his bounds and ended up with leprosy.
Here we have the contrast of God’s nature and Satan’s purposes: God delegates authority down to the lowest level so that the smallest creature might flourish and bring Him glory; Satan consolidates power at the top and makes dependents, destroying their incentive and ability to bring forth fruit and therefore destroying the glory due God.
The latter has been the history of nation-states and the dustbin is littered with their tragic failures. Nevertheless, sinful man persists in his folly.
If we look at America, the Founders were deeply concerned with this propensity and acted objectively to prevent it. They created a Constitution that gave limited power to the Federal Government declaring all other power was to be retained by the people and the states. They wrote a Bill of Rights to reinforce the Federal boundaries. Their intent was that the people and the states would be the balance of power that would keep it in check.
If the Founders were to drop in on us today, they would be dumb-struck.
But we face a more terrible beast today, one that has multiple horns. It is a confederation of not only the power of the Federal State, but it is joined by the power of academia, media, entertainment and labor. All of these are now united by a new worldview that stands opposed to the biblical worldview. Never before have we seen the unified power of technology giants that hold such pervasive and invasive control over the individual’s life and financial well-being. Never before have we seen the ubiquitous presence of media and entertainment whose living screens permeate our hearts and minds for hours and hours each day with a high definition of sight and sound in which the mind can no longer discern what is real and what is fake.
This is a fearsome beast. And, if we now add the rise of the false ethic of malevolent compassion, which feigns a kind heart, but inwardly and demonically seeks to destroy the fruitfulness of people and the glory due to God, we have the Harlot riding the Beast, to borrow imagery from Revelation. I am not implying anything eschatological by that, just to point out the seriousness of the threats before us. With the perversion of the female’s drive for grace and compassion, now unbridled by truth and wisdom and righteousness, she leads us with an unholy ethic that is backed by the power of a demonic worldview written upon the heart of each of these horns.
Ah, but remember, dear Remnant... we remain here for a purpose. This is not a time to cower nor have a melting heart. It is not the time to wring our hands nor faint with fear or hopelessness. This is a time for us to return to our first love and to engage with significant relationships those who providentially live near us—“in the hope that God will grant them repentance and they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:14-16)