A couple of weeks ago I was talking with my friends in England about the condition of our Israel lands and I thought how we have really lost our way. Things just seem to be deteriorating very rapidly now. Hardly a week goes by that we do not hear of some major event going on all around the world. When I thought of these words “lost our way” I couldn’t help but think of Rudyard Kipling’s poem Gentlemen-Rankers. Although he wrote this in 1892 and it applies to English soldiers at that time I thought that the words could apply to today. Here is the first verse of the poem. In Kipling’s poem “Gentlemen-Rankers”, the speaker “sings”:
“To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned,
To my brethren in their sorrow overseas,
Sings a gentleman of England cleanly bred, machinely crammed,
And a trooper of the Empress, if you please.
Yea, a trooper of the forces who has run his own six horses,
And faith he went the pace and went it blind,
And the world was more than kin while he held the ready tin,
But to-day the Sergeant’s something less than kind.
We’re poor little lambs who’ve lost our way,
Baa! Baa! Baa!
We’re little black sheep who’ve gone astray,
Unfortunately, it is too long to print the entire poem here but the last stanza says: “Gentlemen-rankers out on the spree, Damned from here to Eternity, God ha’ mercy on such as we, Baa! Yah! Bah!” Today we have to deal with many outside forces that are wearing us down. Many criticize us for our beliefs and want us to conform and fit in. Our society is “losing its way” as we move further and further away from the morals that made our countries great. We have forgotten who we are. In his poem Rudyard Kipling says through all of this though we, just as the soldiers back then, must remain strong and carry on through it all, enduring the bad with the good.
When we look at what is happening around us in our countries today it appears that we have had the good and are now experiencing the bad. Since we have abandoned God our countries have certainly lost their way. We have lost the rudder that guides us and now we are floundering in a sea of filth. We have been led astray and there is no shepherd to lead us. Ezekiel 34: 1-5 says, “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.”
In our prayers, we must continually be seeking God’s deliverance from this mess. In our despair, He will hear us. He is our hope and we must trust in Him completely to see us through all of this. It is hard to be patient and trust in Him but this we must do. We must be like David in Psalm 40:1-5 where he says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.” “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” (Matt. 18:11)