Saturday, September 16, 2006

Things Haven’t Changed

As part of my devotional, I’m reading Psalms 37 with Calvin’s Commentary. The first three verses read:

Do not fret because of evildoers. Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good…(Ps. 37:1-3a, NASB)
Calvin states that it is with good reason why David "begins with the doctrine of faith or trusting in God." It is because "there is nothing more difficult for men than to preserve their minds in a state of peace and tranquillity, undisturbed by any disquieting fears, whilst they are in this world, which is subject to so many changes." As I read Calvin, I thought nothing has changed in Man’s attitude towards materialism. We get envious of the rich just as quickly today as they did in the 1550's. Nowadays it’s not just wanting riches, but also fame. I don’t know why, but we are just enamoured with fame and fortune.

I think part of the problem is the ubiquitousness of TV; it’s everywhere. Most homes in America probably have no less then two TV's. And we see everyday the story of any ordinary person vaulted to the top (or so we think) because of their exposure on TV. Think about Richard Hatch, the first winner of NBC’s Survivor series. He wouldn’t be famous (or infamous) without TV. He had his 15 minutes of fame and riches, regardless of his felony charges.

To get back on point, Calvin brings up an excellent point about the state of humanity. Without our attention directed towards something, we devolve into a selfish state of disrepair. We see the rich getting richer and we ask ‘why not I?’ And not having the ability to step back and say ‘is that really the most important thing?’ We become jealous and envious. We want what they have thinking that’s going to make us happy. As the Psalmist points out and Calvin elucidates, we need to trust in God to know He is the "author of all good, and that by his blessing alone prosperity is to be looked for," and that’s a very hard thing to do. But that is the only way we can overcome the muck and mire of our sad and miserable state.

Soli Deo Gloria