The Just Individual
Are there Just, righteous, people in the world who will redeem mankind in the eyes of God. Let us pray there are.
June 17, 2019
Have you looked around lately and then asked yourself, can we continue to travel the path we’re on that if left unchecked could lead to our own destruction? In a nation, a world, plagued with oppression, hate, religious persecution, and death, is there any redemption? I have on occasion been beset with this dark and dismal harbinger of something waiting, festering, ready to strike, and beyond our control. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - war, famine, pestilence, death - unleashed on the world.
While contemplating what could be our fate, I began to recall what at the time had a tremendous impact on those of us who were privileged to have been part, even from a distance, of this solemn event. On January 02, 2007 at the memorial funeral for President Gerald R. Ford, Dr. Henry Kissinger began his tribute with these profound words “According to an ancient tradition, God preserves humanity despite its many transgressions, because at any one period of time there exists ten Just Individuals who, without being aware of their role, redeem mankind”.
One can only wonder if ten Just Individuals do exist in the world today. I guess the fact that we are all still here says something for our own preservation, but then what if God, feeling betrayed and disturbed by our behavior, long ago turned his back on mankind and is just waiting it out? I know to some this may sound rather morbid and fatalistic, but look around you and see what we are slowly becoming. I believe most of us would like to think of ourselves as Just Individuals, honorable, righteous, and God-fearing.
But consider what and who we are dealing with right here in America. There is a political party composed of people who I would imagine consider themselves as decent and Just Individuals. But the fact is tha the Democrats have devolved into what I can only described as an alternate life form, heartless, devoid of compassion and humanity, and antithetical to the values, principles and traditional institutions that laid the foundation of this great nation. I cannot believe, perhaps with very few if any exceptions, that there is a Just Individual among the lot. Yes, you’re right, I am passing judgment.
Throughout the history of mankind, there have been tyrants, despots, false prophets of one sort or another, who have defied God and defiled members of the human family. If we are to take the words of Dr. Kissinger to heart, and believe in such a tradition, what would God’s definition of a Just Individual be? We are all in fact sinners, imperfect, and yes even those who we think should be above human folly, members of the clergy, are not free of their own sins and transgressions.
What is the true measure of a Just Individual in the eyes of God? Could it be a man or woman who, even though facing the temptations and weaknesses of the flesh and temporal existence, and at times faltering, yet still makes every effort to lead a good, decent and virtuous life?
If this tradition of a Just Individual sounds familiar to some of you, it isn’t at all that different from the story told in the Old Testament in the Book of Genesis of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord is passing divine judgment on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their lasciviousness, immorality and sinful ways, and makes this known to Abraham. Stricken with grief and fearful of the Lord's wrath, Abraham asks if there are 50 righteous, Just, people found in the cities would the Lord spare the cities of destruction. The Lord says, yes He would spare them.
Abraham then begs the Lord's forgiveness for his being so bold as to ask, if there were only 40 righteous people would He spare the cities? The Lord responds, yes, even 40. Abraham continues his inquiry of the Lord’s mercy down to 30 then 20, and finally ends at the number10. The Lord Replies, yes, even for 10. Had Abraham asked if only 1 Just or righteous person could be found, would the Lord show mercy, I like believe He would have said yes.
We need to pray for Just Individuals to come forward and call out the many sins of mankind.
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