Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Superheroes. People seem to love them. Maybe it is Frozone from the Incredibles. Perhaps it is Iceman from X-men. Then again, it could be either Superman or Hulk. Honestly, people just seem to have their favorite hero. People also seem to have their favorite villain too. It could be the Joker or Lex Luthor. It could be Juggernaut or Poison Ivy. It really doesn’t matter, people just seem to love these guys.
However, what do all of these have characters have in common, aside from being fiction? Technically, they would all be sinners. Even more importantly, they all have a nasty habit of leaving behind a wake of devastation and disaster where they go, especially when fighting against one another. What I find puzzling about this is that there is never any discussion about who is going to pay for the repairs and insurance claims for all that damage. Even worse, nobody ever seems to scold these guys for the damage they cause. Even when not fighting crime, they still cause damage, as evidenced in a scene in the original Superman movie in which Clark is jaywalking (lawbreaker) and is hit by a taxi, only for the taxi to be damaged.
Yes, superheroes and villains cause damage. Oddly, in the Incredibles movie, once the heroes were forced into hiding, the supervillains just seemed to vanish, no reason as to why. However, our Bible heroes aren’t necessarily much better. Some of them caused devastation and disaster where they went as well. Moses and Joshua are both well noted for the wars they fought, leaving death, disaster, and devastation. However, there are others. I only want to look at two.
Samson is perhaps the best known of all the Bible heroes. His tale is actually a tragedy that is almost as woeful as anything by Shakespeare. Sadly, there is a considerable amount of misconceptions regarding him. Much of it has to do with the idea that his strength came from his long hair. Actually, his strength came from God and was based upon a promise of not cutting his hair. He also had an extremely short temper.
In the 15th chapter of Judges, Samson is returning to see his wife. He has a goat with him. However, his father-in-law denies him, saying that he thought Samson hated her, and had given her to his companion. Samson is furious. What does he do? Well, in Judges 15:4~5 we read “So Samson went and caught 300 foxes and took torches. And he turned them tail to tail and put a torch between each pair of tails. And when he had set fire to the torches, he let the foxes go into the standing grain of the Philistines and set fire to the stacked grain and the standing grain, as well as the olive orchards.” It should be noted that Samson declared beforehand that he would be innocent for harming the Philistines, given what they had just done. Yep, disaster and devastation. However, when the Philistines torched the home of his father-in-law, with his father-in-law inside, Samson beat them, and then went to hide, only to later be delivered to the Philistines, only to kill 1000 of them with the fresh jawbone of a dead donkey. So, lets add death to the list of things Samson left in his wake. Note, he was not the first.
Huh? How do you know who the first is? Easy. It is recorded in the third chapter of Genesis. The first person to leave disaster, devastation, and death in his wake was Adam. I suppose that it is fair to question how Adam could leave a wake of disaster, devastation, and death in his wake? When Adam ate the fruit, Adam brought sin into the world. Yes, it was the woman (whom is later called Eve) that was initially tempted. However, Adam was with her. It is uncertain why he let her eat some first. Perhaps he hoped that she would refuse at the last moment. Perhaps he simply wasn’t paying attention. No way to rightly know. However, we do know that he was given some of it and he ate it. We can’t tell if he simply ate it without question or if he realized what it was, that she’d eaten some of it, and decided to do so, as if to challenge God, or what. All we honestly know is that he ate it.
By the time we reach the eighth verse of chapter three, God is now reported as walking in the garden and asking Adam where he is. This is where we get into the whole blame game issue as Adam blames the woman, the woman blames the serpent, and the serpent is cursed to crawl upon its belly. However, God also curses the ground due to Adam’s sin, bringing immediate destruction to the world as the plants will no longer just provide food, Adam will have to work for it. God also drives them out of the garden so that they can not eat of the Tree of Life, thus preventing them from living forever. Yep, death.
In hindsight, we all like to justify and rationalize this situation of Adam. We try to think we are somehow better and we would not have done what he did. Really? Do you really believe that? Let me just say it, you are a sinner and are quite vain to think you could have done any better. Due to Adam’s sin against God, we have all inherited a sin nature. As such, while we can vainly say we would have done better, the truth really is that we wouldn’t do better.
Like it or not, we are all born sinners. The Bible quite readily testifies to this. Yes, there are those who would say “what about babies?”. Sorry, they are also sinners. They still need a savior, just like the rest of us. King David said it best in Psalm 51:5, where it reads “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” This is part of David’s confession of his sin when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan. David recognized that he was born sinful and his sin is known to God. David then asked God to create a clean heart within him. Yes, David acknowledge his sinfulness from birth as he confessed and sought for God to forgive him.
Yes, we are all sinners. We are all sinful from birth and in need of a savior. That is why Christ Jesus came, to die upon the cross and rise again, so that we may have salvation. This was God’s plan. There really was no other way, or God would have used it.
Yes, the heroes and villains of the comics and movies leave a wake of disaster and devastation in their wake. However, in the real world, there is plenty of human caused disaster and devastation, especially since we have a sin-nature. Nope, we don’t need superheroes or villains to cause disaster. We do a pretty bang up job of it ourselves, especially given how we all have inherited original sin from the original sinner, Adam.
Yes, I know. Nothing relating to forklifts this week, but a whole lot of theology. Sorry about that. Original sin is not really a concept that works with the warehouse environment, despite the fact that all of us humans are sinners. Honestly, I’d like to see the Avengers load freight without causing damage, might be a new experience for them, doing something without causing problems.