Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Baghdad Bob Christians

Further thoughts from my reading of 1st Kings:

Remember "Baghdad Bob"- the spokesman for Saddam Hussein who back in 2003 denied all U.S. military successes during the invasion of Iraq up to the moment U.S. Marines were coming in his front door. He was a lot of fun for a while, but what a pathetic figure.

The story of King Rehoboam is told in 1 Kings 15:21-31. After Jeroboam rebelled with the 10 northern tribes, Rehoboam continued to reign over Judah for many years. In the fifth year of his reign Pharaoh Shishak invaded Judah and took treasure from Rehoboam's house, including gold shields made by King Solomon. After Pharaoh left, Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace the gold ones. His guards went in and out, carrying the bronze shields as if nothing had changed.

Can't you just hear Rehoboam's thoughts- "Invasion, what invasion? Never heard of no Pharaoh Shishak. Everything looks the same here. After all, bronze looks very much like gold - can't tell the difference! I've never been defeated. Nothing is wrong with my kingdom- all is well." Shades of Baghdad Bob!

I've been like that myself at times. All my outward actions can look right -reading the Bible, going to church, lifting my hands. Yet inside, where others cannot see, there is nothing but deadness and dry bones. But if anyone asks: "Nothing is wrong with my kingdom - all is well." I have become Baghdad Bob. How many people in the average church meeting next Sunday will be carrying bronze shields? The only cure is to face the truth, and to be honest with the One who is truth. He can turn our bronze back into gold if we will let Him.

Jesus has some words for all us Baghdad Bob Christians:

17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. (Rev. 3:17-18 ESV)