Friday, January 11, 2019

Scratching the Surface of the Psalms - 35

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Scratching the Surface of the Psalms


“Enemies and the Last Word”

If America is as bad as some of its haters scream, why are so many people in the world jumping over walls, swimming across rivers, and lining up to get in?


Yeah, I’d really rather live in China, Russia, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Venezuela, Haiti, Argentina, South Africa, one of those Islamofascistnutball countries or, really, anywhere else.


Having spent a lot of time across the oceans picking up worthless academic certificates and degrees, I don’t know one country in the entire world as dedicated to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the USA.


I thought about that the other day while watching a film that begs us to chat more seriously about border security aka vetting the good guys from the bad guys so the bad guys don’t get in at the expense of the good guys that we’d really like to become a part of the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that doesn’t include repressive ideologies like Sharia law, socialism, statism, and other Satanic movements determined to steal our freedoms, enslave us, and inhibit our intimacy with our Lord and Savior Jesus.


Before you think I’m suffering from a little paranoia, I better mention the movie: Scarface.

It’s about illegal alien Tony Montana who illegally obtains his green card in exchange for murdering a Cuban official and makes his illegal millions by selling illegal drugs.

Parenthetically, America has always made room for legal immigration which has made us so prosperous as well as attractive.

With a name like mine, it was only natural for me to get involved with law enforcement as a police chaplain; and I’ve been one since 1979.

Unfortunately, I know it would be very easy to stop drug traffic in America.

Consumers aren’t the problem.

It’s the producers and distributors enabled by some really rotten apples in our government and law enforcement that are the problem.

If the producers, distributors, and enablers weren’t making so much money, we wouldn’t have such a nightmarish problem.

As someone explained so many years ago to me, “Just one flea can make a big dog itch.”

We’ve got some fleas in America that are making us itch.

Getting back to the movie and my paranoia about America being invaded by forces determined to undermine and steal our freedoms for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, I’ll never forget that scene in Scarface when Tony confronts his old boss Frank about trying to knock him off before Tony knocks him off.

When Frank asks Tony why he’s got a gun pointed at him, Tony says, “I’m…[How do you say it?]…paranoid.”

O.K., maybe I’m a little paranoid about people in our world being fueled by satanos who live to destroy America and steal our souls.

Pero maybe I’m just being sheepdogish and trying to protect and alert the naïve that Jesus was right when he said there are predators in our world who want to steal our existential freedoms and eternal souls: “They come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves…Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.”

While I may be wrong, I believe God’s people have always been a little paranoid about those assaults on our life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

Surely, David felt that way.

So many of his psalms repeat the same message.

There are bad guys who want to hurt good guys; and the only certain way to beat ‘em away, be safe, and keep our freedoms is to stay close to God.

Psalm 35 repeats that message.

David was understandably paranoid.

He was constantly undermined, slandered, and targeted for assassination.

He was always looking over his shoulder for the next assassin whether it was Saul, Absalom, one of Uriah’s buddies, or any number of Goliaths and looking to God to save him: “Let those who seek to kill me be disgraced and humiliated…Oppose my opponents, Lord!”

Yet, David was close enough to God to know God would save him and praised God in advance for the victory: “I will rejoice in the Lord.  I will delight in His deliverance.  I will proclaim Your righteousness and praise You all day long.”

Jesus put it this way: “I will build my Church and the forces of evil will not prevail against it!”

Luther sang about the inevitability of our triumph over the Godless, anti-Christian, and accomplices of satanos determined to steal our lives, liberties, and happiness: “And though this world with devils filled should threaten to undo us, we will not fear for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.  The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him.  His rage we can endure for lo his doom is sure.  One little word shall fell him…Dost ask who that may be?  Christ Jesus!  It is He!”

Let’s be clear on this.

Jesus wins in the end and we win with Him.

I’m talking about an eternal victory that lasts infinitely longer in paradise than this sojourn in time on earth.

Jesus and Jesus alone has the last word.

Knowing we win in the end is why believers endure, overcome, and live triumphantly amid the meanness, madness, misery, and miscreance of life in the modern world.

Only satanos and its accomplices find uneasiness to discomfort to terror in the only One with the last word: “Look, I am coming back quickly.  Blessed is the one who keeps the prophetic words of this book.  I am coming back quickly and My reward is with Me.  I will repay each person according to what he has done.  Blessed are those who confess, repent, and remain in/through/for Me.”

Only believers who have prayed and tried to be God’s in time as preface to a forever bond with Him hear His pledge to return and exclaim with joyful anticipation, “Yes! Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

My greatest regret in life is reading too many books about the Bible rather than spending most of my time reading the Bible.

If I had spent more time in the Bible than books about the Bible, I would have been a better person, husband, father, son, brother, pastor, and presbyter.

That’s why I’ve been so reluctant to recommend books about the Bible; knowing people need the Word enfleshed in Jesus as best revealed in the Word explained in the Bible so much more here and now and forever than books about the Word.

And let me be urgent!

The Bible’s message is far more clear than confusing to those who actually read it.

God loves us and shows us how to love Him back in gratitude for His greatest gift of love in Jesus: confident living in the assurance of eternal life by grace through faith in Him.

Everybody has enemies.

God’s people are not immune.

That’s a repeated fact in so many of David’s psalms as confirmed throughout Holy Scripture.

Moretheless, the greatest truth of all is Jesus has the last word: “You will be hated by everyone who does not love Me; but the one who endures for Me will be saved by Me in the end. “

Heaven is worth the hits.

Believers are not paralyzed by the understandable paranoia of living in a world with so many who hate God and the Godly.

That’s because we’ve got paradise in our heads, hearts, and guts in the end.


Blessings and Love!


Wake up! Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!

Shatter the sound of silence!

Salt! Shine! Leavenate!






Stephen said...

This is an amazing country.


Look back at our doctrine of suppression in Central America during the 40's and 50's - at the behest of capitalist like the brother of John Foster Dulles (Sec. of Defense under Eisenhower) whose brother was BIG in the United Fruit Company... who sanctioned the assassination of a democratically elected President... all this in Guatemala.

Yes, the past it the past.

But that kind of brutality and even more - impugnity - is what has people standing at the border.

We had a major hand in sanctioning it.

We ought to have a major hand in - if not resolving - assisting that resolution.

I imagine that you know about IJM - International Justice Ministries? Born out of the genocide in Rwanda... dedicated to rooting out the kind of corruption that undoes all the good work that positive, well-thought foreign policy attempts to implement.

Closer to home...

This is a good month to stand with black Christians and the uplift of MLKJR's trajectory.

Jesus is Lord.

Dr. Robert R. Kopp said...

Of course, I agree with you, amigo.

While my affirmation as well as affection does not change this edition's concerns, I think of two things that theologians like yourself often recall.

Exceptions to the rule are called exceptions to the rule because they occur so infrequently that they are called exceptions to the rule; meaning it is prudent to play by the rules while acknowledging the exceptions.

Unfortunately, our franchise and country increasingly make exceptions the rules at the expense of insulting the holiness of God; and when we insult the holiness of God, nobody is helped now or in the end.

Really, is there anyone but Jesus and Jesus alone who demands disciples show indiscriminate grace, mercy, forgiveness, and a thirst and hunger for reconciliation wrapped in agape?


Maybe your concern is why, several months ago, I started saying "Make America Godly Again" because I found the other mantra so banal.

Instead of being tied to the past and pretending we share in the real guilt of our predecessors enabled by so many pewsitters, pulpiteers, and politicians, we need to confess our current sin, repent, and pray and labor to model Someone better.

I know we share this prayer and aspiration, mon frere.

We make Him so complicated.

It's so simple...and saving...from the pits we dig.

Blessings and Love!

Jim said...

Funny how, in my less-stylish, less-concise way I find us on the same page, I working out of Job (3: 11-26 tomorrow.) May we shift at least a sub-culture of Belvidere and may the people who walk in darkness behold a great light.

Give 'em heaven tomorrow.