Ecclesiasticus from the Apocrypha – 17:17 – “In the divisions of the whole earth, He set a ruler over every people; But Israel is the Lord’s portion’.
“Humours feed till they grow fat and then they bleed”. So says Ben Jonson in his play Volpone – (The Fox). The playwright lived in the time of William Shakespeare and was often in his shadow. Now this word ‘humour’ was not simply a laughing matter, no, it referred to all those conditions of the human mind which make up our earthly character. Some humours are good, others not so. The medieval world used to classify them broadly as choleric, sanguine, melancholic and phlegmatic.
The particular, sub-humour in Jonson’s play is greed. The central character, Volpone told all of his friends and acquaintances that he was seriously ill and destined to have but a short time to live. He suggested to all that he would leave them some of his wealth on his demise, thus securing many favours from these people. Unfortunately for them, their clutching fingers were disappointed. Volpone upon rising from his bed at sunrise would always proclaim “Good morning to the day and next my gold”.
Our Holy Bible has within it many stories where a flawed human perception renders the victim a prey to danger. One such is the story of King Eglon of Moab. The Israelites having been under the heel of the Moabites for 18 years, cried unto the Lord for deliverance and the Lord hearing their plight raised up a judge called Ehud, the son of Gera, a Benjamite. The Bible makes a point of telling us that Ehud was left-handed. Ehud was tasked with presenting a gift to the king, which he delivered, but before leaving, told the king that he had a secret message for his ears only. The king accordingly dismissed his entourage so that only he and Ehud were present in the king’s summer parlour. How congenial a picture that evokes. Then without warning, Ehud puts forth his left hand and draws out a dagger from his right thigh, and thrusts it into the king’s belly – “And the haft went in after the blade, and his fat closed upon the blade so that it could not be withdrawn”. Then Ehud left by the parlour door and locked it behind him.
Now when the king’s servants returned, they saw that the parlour door was locked and reasoned that “he covereth his feet in the summer chamber”, a polite way of saying he was attending to his toilet. Naturally they did not want to offend the king by making a fuss. So they delayed finding another key, and when they discovered the awful truth, were deeply ashamed of their tarrying. By which time the king was dead and Ehud had escaped. Ehud announced his victory by blowing a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim.
So here we have quite a few lessons to be learned and absorbed.
Firstly, that complacency is a deadly attribute. Secondly, that assumption is also; the king’s protectors must have been fooled by the fact no dagger hung from Ehud’s left thigh. Thirdly, flattery, the offering of a gift to disguise an evil intent. Fourthly, a lack of awareness that the king might be in danger, and lastly an unwarranted fear of upsetting the king in his parlour. All these contained in not properly assessing the situation.
Our Israelite brothers in the United States, to a great degree, have of late, not correctly assessed their situation. They have turned on the strong man that the Lord God found for them and elected a fragile minded weakling given over to a host of defects and who will be subject to interior and exterior forces which he will not be able to control or who may well be removed in some way by his former backers.
The time will come when the Man of God will again stand up. Then will the people of the United States have a chance to redeem themselves, or be cast down into total perdition. Heaven or Hell awaits. In the meantime, the enemies of America are rejoicing as evil men and women always will, convinced that they have everything under control. So thought the Philistines in the time of Samson whom they had humbled and humiliated. But the Lord God allowed his strength to return. And so it is too, with the Man of God who is just biding his time until he is called upon to press the trumpet to his lips, and give forth a most certain sound.