The God of Forces. Final
Yesterday I posed the question – have you (inadvertently?) worshipped electronics? Well, let me expose the Devil’s subtlety in the matter of digital technology. Allow me to explain what happened to me recently. You see, I use a computer as a very useful tool in communication. I’m glad that electronics engineers have invented something that takes the place of the typewriter, the filing cabinet, much of the postal service, and more. We live in an electronics age, and have grown used to it, and take it for granted. This is today’s normal flow of events. But what happens when it breaks down? In my recent experience, it caused me acute frustration. I called for help from my son John, who knows a lot more than me about these gadgets. He detected my impatience, and tried to cool me. For several days I was left high and dry with no ordinary means of communication by email, no way to check my banking account, no means of keeping up to date with important news, until . . . . at last it was sorted out.
And then it happened. I accept it as a great privilege to be able to hear God speak on a daily basis, . . . .but . . . “Do you love Me more than this?” (referring to that black box on my desk). I was suddenly confronted by my behaviour, my frustration and impatience, to realise what it signified in the sight of the Lord. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The First Commandment reared its awesome head and I was struck dumb. “You shall have no other gods alongside me.” I apologized, declaring my ever-growing love for the Lord. After a few minutes the Lord spoke again. “I am cleansing you with holy fire.” I reacted thoughtlessly, a bit like Peter at the foot-washing, and said, “Lord, not just by fire, but in the precious blood!” But I was corrected. “No. You are washed in the blood. This only requires fire.” Another lesson learned.
In reading this anecdote, someone may reasonably comment, saying, “Your frustration was based on the failure of electronics because you were focusing on the god of forces. But we all get frustrated when things go wrong, as when the car breaks down, the fridge stops working, heavy rain causes damage to property, and so on. Why was the Lord cautioning you in this particular matter?” A good question. Attitudes of frustration and impatience need to be attended to however and whenever they arise. But I sensed a particular importance attached to the Lord’s question, because of the way in which electronics is beginning to take over the world. I saw that we are being held in a technology trap of our own making.
What would happen if the electricity supply suddenly ceased? I don’t mean a local power failure, but a full-scale shut-down due to an “electromagnetic pulse” (EMP). Just before noon on September 1st 1859, the British astronomer Richard Carrington witnessed the largest solar flare ever recorded. Within hours Telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. A sun storm of this sort today could cause billions of dollars of damage to Earth satellites and terrestrial power grids. So far there has been no repeat of this huge EMP. But in March 1989 a geomagnetic storm knocked out power across large sections of Quebec.
A rogue nuclear device set off tens of miles above land by terrorists would have the same effect. Not pleasant to contemplate just before Christmas, but we need to be kept informed of what we have invented and flooded the earth with during recent years, and what it would mean if the power grid was fried. No checkout operators, no petrol pumps, no freezers, no electric ovens or storage heaters, no lights, no TVs, no computers or cell phones, all the things we take for granted. We have made no preparations to return to horses and carts, self-sufficiency holdings, and dozens of other things of yesteryears.
Yes, I think I understand why the Lord spoke dramatically that day. Perhaps the “god of forces” may explain some of the strange things of the Book of Revelation, once we unlock the symbolism. The Devil may be subtle, but he cannot ultimately win.
May God be with us all this Christmas. The Babe of Bethlehem will soon be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.