a McChrystal Follow-up

In almost no time at all, the resignation/removal of General Stanley McChrystal from his leadership position, as the top commander of the forces in Afghanistan, became water-under-the-bridge, it seems. Another event in the fast moving, many faceted world of current events , foreign policy & politics. I myself, even, am over my brief period of almost mourning. General David Petraeus is now top dog.

As, I believe, he should be.

I say this, not because I have become a Petraeus ‘fan’, but because I believe God is large and in charge! I braced myself with that belief as I waited for the axe to fall on Stanley McChrystal, and it has served me well. Other considerations aside, to every thing there is a season, and a time…General McChrystal’s time as US/NATO commander was over. In a way, it doesn’t matter what confluence of events, or carelessly tossed out remarks, brought his curtain down. It was time.

I began my last post on the General’s firing with the following Scripture, which expressed the truth of a behind-the-scenes Force effecting the placements & removals of those in power. In this post, I’d like to elaborate on that principle a bit. And by ‘elaborate’, I mean more Scripture, so if you are one of those persons who think the Bible is a made-up storybook…then this article is probably not for you!

“…promotion cometh neither from the east, nor the west…God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” (Psalm 75: 6,7)

When trying to locate this verse, I discovered that there are alot of Scriptures pointing to this same dynamic. I only spent a couple hours or so looking into those verses, but, easily, I could’ve spent days…

Believing that events which seem to be random, accidental or flukes of circumstance are not in fact those things, provides a sense of comfort. We need to know there is order in our universe. When a stellar leader such as Stanley McChrystal crashes & burns, because of a handful of foolish words, there must be found some kind of logic, some satisfactory closure to redeem the apparent senselessness of it all. The winding down of an extraordinary military career in a way “which has something small and dishonorable about it.” (Slate) begs for a better conclusion.

For me, that conclusion is found in the ways of the Lord.

As I searched through the Scriptures for verses pertaining to this idea of leadership, governments, and related events being crafted from on High, I found no lack of evidence. I’ll start with Jeroboam, one of ancient Israel’s kings, who seemed to have a penchant for going the wrong way and doing the wrong things. In dealing with his errant behaviors, the Lord’s explanation reveals some of this evidence.

He begins by saying to Jeroboam, through Ahijah the prophet, “Forasmuch as I exalted thee…and made thee prince over my people Israel…”, following that up with “And rent the kingdom away from…David, and gave it to thee…” (1 Kings 14: 7,8) So we see here, at its inception, Jeroboam’s reign was divinely designed. As would be its demise: “…the Lord shall raise him up a king over Israel, who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam…” (1 Kings 14:14)

In the thirtieth chapter of Jeremiah, we read, concerning Israel and Judah, that “they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up into them.”

When God, through Moses, instructed ancient Israel to have no part in any occult activities, as the nations of that day did, He pointed them instead towards a different source for knowledge and answers: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee…unto him shall ye hearken” (Deuteronomy 18: 15).

In the prophet Samuel’s time, Eli was a priest of the LORD who allowed corruption to permeate the priest’s office, through the transgressions of his two sons. Because Eli did nothing to stop this, but rather honored his sons above his God, both his sons would be taken from him, and the office of priest would be taken from his house forever. Instead, God promised this: “I will raise me up a faithful priest…and I will build him a sure house…” (1 Samuel 2: 35)

Besides prophets, rulers, kings & kingdoms, the Lord raises up opposition. And though many Christians will be horrified to read this, he created evil. (Isaiah 45: 7) Going back to my first example of Jeroboam, in 1 Kings, we see that, as well as creating evil, the Lord also brings it against whom he will: “…I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam…” When King David conspired to, and did, murder Uriah the soldier, to cover up his own adultery with Uriah’s wife, “Thus {said} the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee …” (2 Samuel 12: 11)

Students of Old Testament history know that every time the Lord turned around, Israel was, one way or another, antagonizing Him. Periodically, He would issue judgments against them. (I am not meaning to present the Lord as vindictive here, the picture is much larger than that…just presenting Biblical fact to make my point…) Isaiah tells us, in chapter 29, verse 3, regarding Jerusalem, God warns, “…I will raise up forts against thee…” Forts escalate into nations: “I will raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation…they are terrible and dreadful…” (Habakkuk 1: 6,7)

Lest I leave off here with all the wrong impressions of the Lord – there are whole other stories to be told here, and at this time, that’s not my purpose! – be assured of an entirely different aspect of the character of God than the one which seems apparent from much of the above. The last Scripture I present to you shows the merciful & redemptive love of God, which triumphs over all else: He “…saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited, and to the cities of Judah, Ye shalt be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof…” (Isaiah 44: 26)

All of the above is intended to show my belief, based on Scripture, that God is very involved in human affairs. Though my substantiation is all Old Testament-based, (and I am a New Covenant girl, for sure!), I am NOT trying to paint the Lord as vengeful or capricious…I am trying to mount evidence for the concept of His ‘raising up and putting down’. Regardless of His reasons.

Since beginning this article, I’ve done a little more reading on the Rolling Stone article incident. I have more to say…not much, but still, more…for today, though, my final thought is, It occurs to me that if Stanley McChrystal and his aides/staff had reached a place where they could be so careless with a reporter present – might not that carelessness at some point manifest itself in other, far more serious circumstances? You can be burning out and perhaps not even realize it…?

Christina, signing out…

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5 responses to “a McChrystal Follow-up

  1. I have heard a number of times that the Bible has every topic you could ever want in a book in it. You've found leadership advice. Good work.

  2. Hi CG — You said: " … @ The winding down of an extraordinary military career in a way “which has something small and dishonorable about it.” (Slate) begs for a better conclusion. … "Someone sent me facts to support your statement… Please peruse — at this LINK:*http://moopigwisdom.blogspot.com/2010/07/moopig-inflated-resumes-department.html* McChrystal's Bio…As for me and my house, as is for you " … that conclusion is found in the ways of the Lord. … "

  3. Pingback: Obamacare – maybe when the Dust Settles…? | Jesus, the Revolution & You

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