Are We Inured?
Brian Gale (United Kingdom)
In the current state of world events, are we inured or are we in the process of becoming inured by the constant reports of widespread and worldwide problems which must surely be leading to the end of this age? Do we just accept more bad news without thinking too much about it? After all, bad news is a staple diet of modern reporting.
A good definition of inure is “to habituate to something undesirable, especially by prolonged subjection; accustom.” A synonym of inure is hardened. So, putting it another way, are we or have we become used to and hardened to all that is happening around the world? I think it is a good question to ask.
Yet again, I bring up the story of our old friend, the frog in boiling water, and how often he has been mentioned over the years in the Church of God – and with very good reason. If there are any reading this and don’t know the story, suffice to say that “the premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of sinister threats that arise gradually rather than suddenly” (Wikipedia Encyclopedia). Whether the story is true or not is immaterial, but the lesson we can learn is invaluable.
It can be so easy to see details of the latest tragedy or calamity and just accept that this is the way society is. One such item, one of many, was in a “Money Marketing” e-mail that I saw in early August 2019. The piece read: “By volume, 90% of world trade goods are transported by sea. There are around 53,000 ships in the world’s merchant fleet, 5,000 of which are container ships, and the largest of those carries more than 20,000 containers. Without these ships, many countries could not participate in global trade, and consumers would have to absorb the increased costs, making the world poorer.” I thought about Revelation 8:8-9 where it states that “a third of the ships were destroyed!” A third of 53,000 is 17,667 ships and think of the number of containers that would be lost, plus cruise ships and others. It’s not just about the present but how that will play out during the time of trouble just ahead of us.
It can be pretty easy in these days of mass communication to read, hear or see the very latest events on the world scene, and we ought “to cry and sigh for all the (many) abominations” (compare Ezekiel 9:4) that surround us, but if we transpose this to the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, we may be able to see, in some part, just what a terrible time it really will be. We must remember the admonishment by Jesus Christ to “Watch therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
The Feast of Trumpets is a central Holy Day in God’s plan and the people of God will be celebrating this Holy Day on Monday 30th September. This festival pictures that time that is just ahead of us—a time of terrible trouble that should Christ not return, no flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22). Preceding that time, there will be so many problems—all created by man through the influence of Satan—that the troubles that we can currently “cry and sigh” about will pale by comparison.
Let us make sure that the “frog” doesn’t influence us, that we can really appreciate what is going on in the world today and extrapolate this to the time of terrible trouble just ahead, and we will, in no way, be inured to the terrible things that we now see on a daily basis.