Have you ever been suspicious?
What causes us to be suspicious, I wonder?
Suspicion can be a good thing. But, taken too far, or if it becomes an obsession or an obsessive behavior, then it is not a good thing. It can be a bad thing. It can be a hurtful thing.
In the Old Testament book of Daniel, Chapter 2, King Nebuchadnezzar is suspicious. He suspects a plot.
Daniel 2:9, "The king replied, "I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm,
9 that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation."
10 "The Chaldeans answered the king and said, "There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean.
11 "Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh."
12 "Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
13 "So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.
10 "The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the king’s matter: therefore there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer, or Chaldean.
11 "And it is a rare thing that the king requireth, and there is none other that can shew it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
12 "For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
13 "And the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they sought Daniel and his fellows to be slain."
Because of his suspicion, King Nebuchadnezzar has become a dangerous man. He is making an impossible demand. It is an unreasonable demand, but in many respects, it is not a surprising demand for a monarch, who is all powerful, to make.
Because despite his great power, he is fundamentally, at his core, insecure.
As Reinhold Neibuhr says, "Man is tempted by the basic insecurity of human existence to make himself doubly secure."
We were made to be in a relationship with God, and apart from Him we have a fundamental insecurity that marks us. And as Ronald Wallace comments, "So, man grasps for fame, wealth and power. But the more he attains and the higher he climbs, the more basically he feels insecure in his position for the more terrible his fall could be.
"Therefore the more he attains the more desperately he anxiously is driven to strive to attain. And so we have the vicious circle which produces the modern dictator, and which forces the dictator in his rule to become more and more harsh, brutal, angry and suspicious."
And some of you live with this!
You see, it doesn't just produce the "Kim Jong Uns" of the world. It produces the husbands, fathers, mothers, bosses, church leaders, politicians who rule with harshness, whose demands are unreasonable and even impossible because they are aiming to doubly secure their position and they are aiming to mask their insecurities with a show of force and power.
It happens at a world level. It happens at home. It happens in our churches.
Behind so much of our impatience and anger lies a fundamental insecurity that we think we can shore up by being control freaks, by being short tempered, by being harsh and difficult.
But you see, gentleness and kindness - a firm gentleness and kindness is the kind of leadership the Bible which describes what we should be as Christian leaders in the home and in the Church.
And, that kindness and gentleness and patience comes from a relationship with God, Who is the fundamental and foundational source of our security.
Security doesn't come from power, wealth or position, or anything other than the personal knowledge of God, Who is bigger than anything and everything that can threatens us.
Nebuchadnezzar doesn't have this security and unless you know God, you don't have it either." - (Mostly transcribed from a message by Trent Casto, Pastor)
Suspicion and insecurity can go hand-in-hand, and is dangerous for the individual and those around it. Let's know our God and trust Him.
"Lord - we pray - lead us in Your Ways. Free us from the traps which so easily ensnare us. Give us the faith to trust you fully. May we know you are our Way Maker, our Problem solver, our Mover of Mountains, our Hope, our Promise, our Future and our Firm Foundation!
You are greater than anything and everything that can threatens us
Your Brother and Friend,