A Matter of the Heart: El Chapo or El Grande

seanpennWhen I heard the sarcasm in the voice of the news reporter, I paused long enough to hear him say: “He’s a man’s man.”   I wasn’t surprised to learn he was was speaking about Sean Penn’s debacle with the diabolical Joaquín Guzmán or El Chapo.

Neither one of the two come to my mind when I think of a “man’s man.”  One is a misguided political activist and lousy actor while the other is an infamous drug king pin.

When God sent Samuel to the home of Jesse to find and anoint a new king, Jesse gladly showed him his sons who were fine specimens of manhood.  Even though each of them had some physical characteristics that were desirable, Samuel was to consider more than just their strength.

Before this selection process began, God had reminded Samuel that the “Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (I Samuel 16).”

Only one of Jesse’s sons had the “heart” that met the criteria, and his name was David.  This young sheep herder would become a successful King of Israel and the author of many of the Psalms.

When you read the Psalms, several verses speak of the qualities God desires in a person.  Psalm One is perhaps the most familiar, but there are many other verses that speak of a man’s attitude and his relationship with God:

  • The man whose life is out of hand due to his arrogance and unrepentant heart (Psalm 6:2-6).
  • The man who thinks he has the world in his hand (Psalm 30:6).
  • The man who is right because he’s never left God out of his life (Psalm 16:7-11).
  • The man who walks hand in hand with God and recognizes Him as the Lord, relies on His strength, and rests in Him as a personal refuge (Psalm 18:1-3).

When people observe you, do they see a person who has a heart for God, and one who is walking hand in hand with Him?

The Deaf Ears of the Well-Oiled

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - NOVEMBER 3:  Khalid Abdulla Alhajeri looks at a natural gas pipe November 3, 2002 in Manama, Bahrain. The country was the first in the Arab side of the Gulf to discover oil. The country is the home port for the United States Navy's 5th Fleet, the battle group that patrols the Gulf. The kingdom is a crucial link in any war with Iraq. The Navy has had a base there since 1948. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Immigration is one of the focal points of discussion now that the political campaigns have begun.  A question being asked is: “What should be done about the border dividing the USA and Mexico?”

The scope of the immigration question is not limited to the USA. The European Union (EU) is trying to resolve the same dilemma, and it is perhaps even more difficult.

The decisions of some countries will be influenced by the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire when their army of Muslims conquered Hungary and other nations.  Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, has attacked EU policy.  He believes the influx of Muslim refugees is a threat to Europe.

The Washington Post has reported that, “Some European countries have been criticized for offering sanctuary only to a small number of refugees, or for discriminating between Muslims and Christians. There’s also been a good deal of continental hand-wringing over the general dysfunction of Europe’s systems for migration and asylum.”

Why is Europe and even the USA being criticized?  The solution to this problem and the responsibility to act, falls directly into the lap of Syria’s Muslim neighbors. Countries like Saudi Arabia and the other wealthy Arab states along the Persian Gulf have a vast supply of oil, but they have turned a deaf ear to Syria’s squeaky wheel.

As I think of the plight of these downtrodden families who are trying to escape the horrors of war, I’m left with two questions: Is the EU practicing discrimination when they try to limit the number of Muslim refugees from Syria, or is the action of the EU discriminating wisdom?

When the EU opens the door to their borders, they open them to more than innocent migrants.  They also open the door to terrorist wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.

Is it just me or do you also think it’s odd?  The same countries that refer to the USA as the Great Satan are now appealing to our Christian values to help their outcasts?  Since Saudi Arabia has been blessed with the oil can, they should oil the squeaky wheel of their neighbor.