rev-joaquin-willis_web.jpgToday few people are running for cover, society is on a collision course with God’s Word and, because we are refusing to change course, we’re being rained on by the darts of Satan.

We see the rain of problems: People are broke, busted and disgusted and fed up with government, the world’s economic problems, classism, and racism. Based upon the Occupy Wall Street movement, it seems to many that capitalism is even replacing democracy as our primary form of government.

In I Samuel 18:1-4, David has  problems and he is running for cover from his former ally and friend King Saul, who he has just finished protecting from Goliath. Suddenly Saul has become his enemy. But before David takes off, Saul’s son Jonathan enters into a friendship covenant to provide protection.

Their friendship is one of the deepest and closest in the Bible and it is based on a covenant. They let nothing come between them, not war nor family problems. When tested, they draw closer and they remain friends to the end.

Today, Instead of running for the cover of covenant, we seek instead protection by making contracts. In marriage, in business and even in church we form contracts. The world says “in marriage get a pre-nuptial agreement (another contract)” but in God’s Word marriage is not a contract; it is a covenant between husband and wife and God.

A contract is a bi-lateral, conditional, revocable and dissoluble agreement. A covenant, on the other hand, is a unilateral, unconditional, irrevocable and indissoluble agreement.

One might ask, “What would a fixed world look like?” If all were well with God and us, my answer would be: Everybody would know their purpose in life and work to fulfill it, marriages would last, families would remain intact, fathers and mothers both would raise their children. Every child would feel safe and secure. Older people could retire and live in peace and the rich would share their wealth with the poor. “And no one would be in need” (Acts 4:34).

Our declining value exchange is not a random experience but the result of strategies purposefully rained down on us by the kingdom of darkness. Satan uses as his primary strategy a shifting of our values and he makes changes slowly enough that no one notices.

For example, a frog is a cold blooded animal and if you throw one into boiling water it would sense danger and jump out. But if you put a frog in room temperature water, it would be happy and remain in the pot. But, reportedly, if the temperature is turned up a couple degrees per hour, the frog would adjust. We are told if this process is continued over a couple of days, the frog would never sense danger and would remain in the kettle as it slowly boils to death.

Today, according to Father Facts, a publication of the national Fatherhood initiative, divorce is tearing the family apart. Children of divorce are more likely to drop out of school, engage in premarital sex and become pregnant than children of intact families. The average income of divorced women with children declines by 73 percent. Only 8.3 percent of children living with both parents exhibit significant emotional or behavioral problems, compared with 19.1 percent of those living with mother only and 23.6 percent of those living with their mothers and stepfathers. The family (the frog) is in hot water and the family as we know it is dying while society turns up the heat.   

God’s covenant was meant to provide a safe and secure environment. The covenant we have with God has been sealed by the blood of Jesus, Who came to save us from our sins and from their consequences. He came to give His life for our safety on earth, safety in time, safety in heaven and safety in eternity.

So what’s God’s solution to this problem? We run for cover and learn to live under it. We run for the protective shelter of the blood of Christ (the cover). We need its protection around the sensitive nerve we call the heart. 

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door in Miami.  He may be contacted at 305-759-0373 or  pastor@churchoftheopendoormiami.org