“Lies can be verbal or nonverbal, kindhearted or self-serving, devious or bald-faced; they can be lies of omission or lies of commission; they can be lies that undermine national security or lies that make a child feel better.” Robin Marantz Henig -Writer
February is a very interesting month. I could do without the snow storms, but I’m excited that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to Superbowl! WHO DEY! This time of year, my social media feed is filled with Black History Month articles, photos, and thoughts. I love to celebrate our history. Black history should be honored all year long. For instance, did you know that Duke University’s Chapel, and 30 other buildings on its campus were designed by a Black architect named Julian F. Abele? (left) Abele designed buildings that he was not even allowed to enter, including the LORD’s house.
A disturbing development is going on in Texas—books are being proposed to be banned by renowned African-American authors from Toni Morrison’s classic, “The Bluest Eye,” and Walter Mosely’s “47” to contemporary justice resources like Ibram X Kendi’s “How to be an Anti-Racist.” This month, I’ve watch many African-Americans offer post after post on the contributions of Black leaders to our society, hoping desperately that our immense worth and value will be acknowledged. Opponents to the truth intend not only to redact, or re-tell accounts of the horrific sin of America’s disenfranchisement of people of color, but also seek to erase hundreds of years of our historical contributions to every facet of US society. This is a sad time in America…ultimately for all of us.
Christians are familiar with the word OMISSION— the act of excluding or leaving out someone or something; or a failure to do something, especially something that one has a moral or legal obligation to do. We classify our sins as those of commission (things we intentionally do that defy God’s Word) and those of omission (what we leave out that we should have done). The United States has both of these types of sin. Greek Philosopher Plutarch said,“The omission of good is no less reprehensible than the commission of evil.”
In Isaiah 59, the prophet states that Israel’s sin was so great that they were separated from God. He had hidden His face from them and would not hear. Their hands were defiled with blood, their lips had spoken lies, and their tongues muttered perversity. (Isaiah 59:1-3) Their sin had societal implications,“No one calls for justice, Nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak likes. They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.” Israel cried out and looked for light but found only darkness, “Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, And equity cannot enter. So truth fails, And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.” (vs. 14-15) Sounds eerily familiar.
The next verses say that the LORD saw it, and was displeased that there was no justice. He looked and wondered that there was no intercessor. That’s also what we as African-Americans often wonder—who will stand for us? Isaiah offers hope in God. Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him…When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.” (vs. 15-19) The Good News is this—the LORD will fight for us. The LORD will redeem us. He will restore those who turn to and trust in Him.