Edward Snowden’s, “Permanent Record” describes, in harrowing detail how much the NSA knows about you and me. Every phone record, google search and purchase are on my permanent record. As Snowden states “I don’t want to live in a world where everything I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity and love or friendship is recorded.”
“For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible.”
While the NSA is not omniscient, it bears a striking resemblance to a counterfeit version of the eight traits of God in Psalm 139:
- Lord, you have examined me and know all about me.
- You know when I sit down and when I get up.
- You know my thoughts before I think them.
- You know where I go and where I lie down.
- You know everything I do.
- Lord, even before I say a word, you already know it.
- You are all around me—in front and in back— and have put your hand on me.
- Your knowledge is amazing to me; it is more than I can understand.
Ask God to raise up hundreds of King Cyrus’s .
With any government, there is the absence of pure love and justice. In today’s Old Testament reading, God-inspired kIng Cyrus of Persia to be His vehicle of redemption for Israel. We need to ask God to raise up hundreds of King Cyrus’s. The non-profit group, Open Doors, describes how great this need is:
- 245 Million: In the top 50 World Watch List countries alone, 245 million Christians in the world experience high levels of persecution for their choice to follow Christ.
- 1 in 9: Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution
- 14%: The rise in the number of Christians in the top 50 countries on the 2019 World Watch List (WWL) who experience high levels of persecution. (from the 2018 reporting period to 2019’s)
- 4,136: Christians killed for faith-related reasons in the top 50 WWL countries.
- 2,625: Christians detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned in the top 50 WWL countries.
- 1,266: churches or Christian buildings attacked in the top 50 WWL countries.
- 7 out of 9: In seven of the countries in the World Watch List’s top 10, the primary cause of persecution is Islamic oppression.
- 11: countries scoring in the “extreme” level for their persecution of Christians. Five years ago, North Korea was the only one.
- 18: Consecutive years North Korea has ranked No. 1 as the world’s most dangerous place for Christians.
Christians must respond to today’s Gospel, Luke 8: 16-18 and shine their light.
Why? As Paul reminds us in Romans 13:12, “The night is almost gone, the day is near. therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”