The Length of Misery

Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them.

  • Psalm 94:20-23

“…length of days with an evil heart is only length of misery and already she beings to know it.  All get what they want; they do not always like it.”

  • C. S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew

I have heard another expression.  We either say “Your will be done, or God will tell us, your will be done.”  Of course, the people who say that mean that God says that before He casts those who demanded their will being done into the lake of fire.

The context of the Lewis quote is that near the end of the book, spoiler alert, the Witch, who likes to refer to herself as Empress Jadis, is blocked, at least for a time, from entering Narnia.  She has regained her youth and will live for a very long time.  Polly, daughter of Eve, asks about what will become of her and the quote is Aslan’s reply.

In other Lewis writings, I think from The Screwtape Letters, Lewis writes that humans often do neither what they do not want nor what they even like.  I have never gotten drunk, but I have been on buses with one or two sober people and 40+ drunk people.  After an hour-long bus ride, almost every person on the bus, including the sober few, was muttering, “Why did I do that?” as they were getting off the bus.  It felt good at the time, but…  Note: The Bad Durkheim wine festival is great fun, but their wine tasting samples come in half liter glasses, and of course you will want to sample a variety of wines.  This note is provided as an unsolicited public service announcement.

I think the thing that I see the most is that there are so many who do not believe in God, but they are angry with God and angry at any mention of God.

C. S. Lewis was confronted by his friends and this apparent contradiction caused him to reevaluate his worldview, eventually coming to the conclusion that there was a God, and eventually accepting Jesus as his Savior.  The point being that you cannot be angry with something or someone that does not exist.  It should not bother you that other people mention something or someone that does not exist.  It is like the person talking of going snipe hunting in the woods.  Knock yourself out, but you won’t find one.

Note:  For those told to go into the woods and trap a snipe, this is a fool’s errand.  You are usually told to make a certain noise or flap your arms like a bird or walk around in the woods standing on one leg for a few seconds every now and then.  The older boys have you do that just to watch you make a fool of yourself and laugh at you.  It whiles away the time when they had nothing better to do.  There is a bird called a snipe, but most snipe hunts are in localities where snipe are not indigenous.

But if you discussed going on a snipe hunt and how thrilling it was, that would not make me angry.  Maybe I should be angry at those who conned you into doing it, but people get angry when you speak of God, a spirit that these people believe does not exist.

Of course, the true Christian knows God exists.  Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can see God in everything.  The miracle of life itself is one thing, but the formation of the rocks and other things that are not living is equally amazing, and instructive.  Careful study, using modern scientific techniques, can and has proven evolution false.  Even the proof of evolution, minor changes, has been proven to have been within one’s DNA all along, with branches forming as mutations remove one trait or another.

So, we get what we want, but many will not like what they get.  They may enjoy it for a moment, but then that moment is done, and they must move on to another remedy for their misery.

The world today is searching for something that does not last.  And that something will eventually consume itself with all its followers.  And many people who call themselves Christians will be in their midst.

Yet, no earthly pleasure lasts.  There is always the day after.  Even if you have become so morally numb that you never experience remorse, there will be an emptiness.  An emptiness that can only be filled by the next fad?

Do not believe it.  The emptiness can only be filled by God.

But do we get what we want?  Not necessarily on this earth, in this life.  But it is a certainty that when we arrive for Judgment Day, if our heart’s desire was more of God, we will get that and more.  If our heart’s desire is to ignore God, God will send us where we do not have any more interference from God.  But as Lewis suggests, we may not like it.

Repenting and turning to God is the only way to stop the misery.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


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  1. “I think the thing that I see the most is that there are so many who do not believe in God, but they are angry with God and angry at any mention of God.” Well said…and sad

    Liked by 2 people

  2. May 31, 2021 — 5:42 pm

    This is great and I love the story about the elusive snipe. My husband was a leader for our church’s version of the Boy Scouts and I recall hearing about the hunt happening at every camp out. You’d think the boys would catch on, but their leaders made it seem so real. Paul had a walking stick which he used to capture snipe and lure them into a bag. He had several notches on the stick – one for every snipe he got.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fun times, if you realize that you have been had and everyone eventually gets up to speed, but I was smart and thick headed at the same time. It wasn’t until someone asked me if I had ever heard of a snipe in these woods before. Then I figured it out.

      Liked by 1 person

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