With the economy and various states working to get their budgets back on track, there is a long overdue look being given to the many entitlement programs at both the federal and state levels. We’ve just learned this week that 1 out of 3 Americans receive some type of federal payout through wages and salaries, Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. Over the coming months I will be launching a new entity that will address political and cultural issues through a Biblical lens because they are much too involved to cover in a few devotionals much less one.

If I could remove one word from the American lexicon it would be “entitlement.” No one is entitled to anything from the government, at least not what the word has come to mean today. Random House Dictionary defines “entitle” as “to give (a person or thing) a title, right, or claim to something.”

When it comes to inalienable rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as outlined in our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence, these rights cannot be given nor taken away. They are based on God’s and nature’s law. To say that I am entitled to live, to be free, and to pursue what makes me happy within the law would be a correct statement. To say that I am entitled to someone else’s money through confiscatory taxes would not only be a lie, it would be sinful.

King Solomon wrote many a proverb on this type of person; the person who believes he or she is entitled to things for which they do not work. In far too many cases in America, many people do not have because they will not work.

    “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4)

Notice that Solomon did not say he who has a broken hand; the Bible is clear that we the church are to help those who CANNOT work. But the Bible is very clear on those who WILL NOT work:

    “But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10)

Now is there anything in that passage that is unclear? Anything that we need to turn to a Bible commentary to discern? Do we need to do an extensive expository on this passage to discover the true meaning of what Paul is writing to the Thessalonian church? Of course not because Paul clearly states that if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. Hunger is a great motivator for the sluggard. And even then some will not work…

    “I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction: a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 24:30-34)

Now notice that Solomon does not say this man did not have a field to work; he had a field he refused to work. And so poverty came upon this man and robbed him of everything, most importantly his dignity. Work brings dignity to man; God designed man to work:

    “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food’; and it was so.” (Genesis 1:27-30)

For the man or woman who cannot work because of a debilitating injury or illness but so desires to be well and working again, my heart goes out to you. This is why I have accepted my vertigo because if all I have to deal with in my later years is dizziness I have nothing of which to complain. I know so many people who have chronic back pain or joint discomfort or diseases and those are the people we should be helping. Ditto for the widow whose only source of income was her husband. However, it should be the church, not the government, that meets the needs of these precious people. But that’s another story for another time.

Beloved, we need political and moral clarity in this day and age of political correctness, secular humanism, and postmodern thought.

We need the truth of the gospel; it’s blinding light to shine into the dark corners of wicked hearts to bring the revival this nation so desperately needs. Without it America will not be saved. Instead of turning to the G-O-P we need to turn to G-O-D. It’s not conservatism that will save America it is Christianity. That is how this nation was founded and that is how it can find its way back.

To put it bluntly, well I’ll just leave you with what King Solomon said. He sums it up best:

    “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers


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