There’s something about three-piece suits that seems so civilized. Think of the average James Bond movie, in which all sorts of people are shot and blown up — the bad guys, that is — and James remains unruffled, dignified, and full of aplomb. He performs so many physically grueling acts, outside of the bedroom, that is, while wearing a neatly pressed suit.
And while we know it’s “just a movie,” and doesn’t represent real life and all that, if we seriously look at the number of atrocious acts that assault us during the average 2 hour mass media flick, featuring an exciting anti-hero in a suit, we start to wonder just how inured we are to violence, and deceit, and treachery, and cruelty, and meanness.
It’s all so well-hidden behind the facade of a three-piece suit, which is so very, very civilized.
From the standpoint of the person who has been hurt, however, it doesn’t really matter if the perpetrator is in a suit or animal skins — if we are robbed of $800 by a stereotypical thug in a sweatshirt brandishing a gun, or if the thief is behind a computer and hits a few keys, what is the difference, ultimately, to the person who used to have the $800?
And while facing a gun is scary, being violated in secret is kind of . . . creepy.
Evil stays the same, although it changes its face, or more likely its clothes, and the pervading evil of mankind is its refusal to acknowledge God and to depend, instead, upon its strength, cunning, intelligence, acumen, and ambitious greed.
Habakkuk 2:11 describes men such as this, men who,
” . . . sweep past like the wind and go on — guilty men, whose own strength is their god.”
The people referred to in this passage are the Babylonians, a major military, fiscal, corporate, and social phenomenon of their age, the 7th and 6th centuries, B.C. While we easily discount them, these days, because they wore robes and didn’t carry smart phones, the Babylonians were THE major power of their day, and their cunning, wit, acumen, and ruthlessness would match any nefarious power of 21st century, regardless of who is wearing a suit, robe, or t-shirt.
We fool ourselves when we think that today’s technology makes us smarter than men of old, and by thinking so, we lose the lessons that history has to teach us, which is this:
1) Mankind, from the beginning, has relied upon itself, and not God’s standards, to rule itself (which means that only a few rule, and the rest are ruled),
2) God’s standards, not man’s, are the only ones made with the safety and protection of God’s children in mind.
When we worship ourselves — relying upon our own strength as opposed to that of God’s — we create a world in which the weak, the defenseless, the poor, and the vulnerable are in a bad place, because it is not in the nature of humans, seeking power, to take on the cause of the weak.
But when we worship God — relying upon His strength as opposed to that of man’s — we ally ourselves with the One and Only Person who does take on the cause of the weak. When it comes to a showdown between two rival powers — and there is always a showdown — it’s a better idea to be on the side, and under the protection, of the One who, ultimately, holds ALL the power.