Manipulation, by Pastor Lloyd Pulley, March 2022

Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – March 2022

By Pastor Lloyd Pulley

“In like a lion, out like a lamb” is ancient weather folklore for the month of March, springing from the belief that there should be balance and order in the world. We naturally hate imbalance and discord—which ordinarily is a good thing.

Unfortunately, this longing for balance can be a seedbed of opportunity for devious salesmen, greedy corporate leaders, power-hungry politicians, and social engineers—not to mention "community organizers." At any real or manufactured crisis, from ring-around-the-collar to the threat of world war, these elevate the problem in order to swoop in as trusted rescuers.

The Bible account of a man named Abimelech takes place in Judges 9. He was one of the first in recorded history to create a crisis and then "solve" it by his leadership. He was the first to use "identity politics.” He convinced one ethnic group they were being oppressed by those in power, and then he was there to help them. He hired a group of worthless men, a modern-day “cancel culture”, to swoop in and eliminate the "oppressors"—who were the descendants of a biblical hero, Gideon. Fortunately this terrorist, one of the worst leaders Israel ever had, met an untimely end. And that is both a warning and encouragement to us today.

The average person is unaware as to what is happening in larger national affairs and can be easily manipulated through their identity group. Bible-believers are often troubled when evil triumphs, and like the psalmist exclaim, “Why do You stand afar off, O Lord? Why do You hide in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1). In other words, “Where are you, God? Why are you allowing this?

Yet, most of Psalm 10 reveals the wicked have no problem in lying, cheating, stealing, and deceiving to obtain their desires, regardless of who they hurt. And they are adept at using fear to intimidate or greed to manipulate so that justice can be twisted to their end.

The elite profit from stirring the pot and then “solving” the chaos they create—whether confusion over COVID, Critical Race Theory, gender identity, or abortion, etc. Those who hold and promote the truth are often censored or maligned, risking their livelihoods, as present-day “Abimelechs” cancel them.

Who would have thought America would be susceptible to such obvious distortions of common sense and justice? Have corporate, political, educational, and media leaders sold truth for money and power?

Times like these are a struggle for the poor, the honest, and the humble—yet this is perhaps a needful time of shaking before the final judgment day when God will separate “the sheep from the goats.” The wicked ruling class may be exempt from the human law, but one day will answer to God for their crimes against Him and humanity. Are some so drunk with power and pleasure they see no danger ahead?

The cost for those who are honest to uphold the truth is high. To go against the national narrative takes guts! But hold fast to your integrity, because you are never wrong when you do the right thing. True, some may be removed from medical positions for being honest about COVID and the vaccines. Yes, many more will be hounded for their belief in the Bible on marriage and gender. But remember, lies eventually are exposed, and God will use these challenging times as a test for the souls of people.

Is there any hope for Americans to survive such deception despite the pressure to be silent in so many areas? I don’t know. But more important and valuable than the nation as a whole is each soul. There will always be those who regard God and truth more than personal safety and gain and will risk all to speak the truth in love. Remember what Marley’s ghost said to Scrooge— he said, “Humanity was my business!

There is still hope when a remnant exists that loves truth more than money, power, pleasure, fear of loss, and even more than their own families and lives. Otherwise this nation, which became great because she was good, will end up like every other nation which perished in the past in selling its soul for trinkets.

Psalm 10 is a shot across the bow to those who have sold their soul into evil to be warned to mend their ways—mend your ways and come to Jesus! He is merciful, loving, compassionate, forgiving, and kind.

It is also an encouragement to those who hold their integrity and are willing to sacrifice for what is right—that there is a God who judges fairly and will evaluate every deed in the end.