FORGET NONE OF HIS BENEFITS
volume 16, number 8, February 23, 2017
“So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow at this time.” -1 Kings 19:2
Most of you know about the words uttered by pop icon Madonna at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. on January 21. She said that she had strongly considered blowing up the White House due to her anger at the election of Donald J. Trump as President of the United States.
Madonna’s anger reminds me of another woman of like ilk, Jezebel the wicked, vile queen of Israel who, when told by her equally wicked husband King Ahab of the disastrous defeat of the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel at the hands of Yahweh and His messenger, Elijah the Prophet; promised death and destruction on this prophet of God.
In an interview in the 150th Anniversary Collector’s Edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine (okay so you probably figured I don’t normally read Harper’s Bazaar but someone told me about the interview with Madonna in this edition) Madonna was asked how she was feeling on election night.
She said, “It was just like watching a horror show.” She said that her friend was reading the Quran. Madonna went on to say, “I was reading from the Zohar and we were doing everything: lighting candles, meditating, praying, offering our lives to God forever, if only, I went to sleep, and since that night, I wake up every morning and it’s like when you break up with somebody who has really broken your heart. You wake up and for a second you’re just you, and then you go, ‘Oh, the person I love more than anything has just broken my heart, and I’m devastated and I’m broken and I have nothing. I’m lost.’ That’s how I feel every morning. I wake up and I go, ‘Wait a second. Donald Trump is president. It’s not a bad dream. It really happened.’ It’s like being dumped by a lover and also being stuck in a nightmare.”
Madonna is a very religious person, just like Jezebel with her Baal worship. While the prophets of Baal were calling out to their god to bring fire down from heaven and consume the sacrifice, we are immediately struck by the futility of their efforts. They were praying, dancing about, crying out, cutting themselves with swords and lances all day long. Elijah mocked them, saying, “Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened,” (1 Kings 18:27). However, Madonna’s religion is not genuine. It is a figment of her imagination, meant to give her a semblance of peace and meaning to a life given over to unbridled rebellion, licentiousness, and ungodliness, to a life bereft of peace, joy, humility, and genuine love.
We should not, however, condemn Madonna. She no doubt is an enemy of God and His righteousness, but she also is wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. She has no hope in Kabbalah or the Zohar which she seems to read religiously. She is without God in this world. She has been blinded by the evil one so that she cannot possibly see the light of the glory of the gospel of Christ who is the image of God. God has bestowed on her great talent, this a remarkable manifestation of His goodness; but she has corrupted this gift and turned the goodness of God into licentiousness and perversion. She is at enmity with God. The goodness of God was meant to lead her to repentance. That is, she should come to the place where she can say to herself, based on all that she has, “I owe God everything. I must repent and serve Him with all my heart and soul.” But instead, because she has not acted correctly on God’s goodness, she is now stirring up for herself wrath in the day of the wrath and revelation of God of the righteous judgment of God who will render to her everything according to her deeds.
She is facing a most dreadful and foreboding judgment. Madonna is spewing hatred and violence because she has a rebellious heart which loves sin and hates God. She will be cut off out of the land of the living. As a transgressor she will be altogether destroyed. She will suffer punishment away from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power. She will receive what she is due on that dreadful day of judgment. Unless God grants her the gift of repentance, she will one day hear, “Depart from Me, you worker of iniquity, into the everlasting fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”
So, weep for her and people you know like her. The only remedy for Madonna is the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the grace of God which would turn her from being a vessel of wrath prepared for destruction to a vessel of mercy prepared beforehand for glory.
And such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. If you are in Christ then you did not earn it. You did not deserve it. Perhaps you were as vile as Madonna. Perhaps you were trying all manner of religion as she is doing. God, however, was rich in mercy concerning you. He can do the same for Madonna. Pray for Madonna, and people you know like her, that God would open their hearts to the truth as it is in Jesus.
1. The word Zohar in Hebrew means “splendor” or “radiance” and the Zohar is the foundational work in Jewish mystical thought called Kabbalah. It is a collection of commentaries on the Torah, probably written in the 13th Century A.D. in Aramaic, intended to guide people who have already achieved high spiritual degrees to the root or origin of their souls. <kabbalah.info.>
2. Baal, meaning lord, was the supreme god of the Canaanites. Baal was a fertility god who was believed to enable the earth to produce crops and people to produce children.