Commentary

A Blessing or a Curse?

Friday last week, just after Donald Trump became President Trump, it started to rain. The rain began to fall just as Trump began his inauguration speech. It didn’t last long, but it was enough that it wasn’t lost on anyone there or watching from elsewhere.

Franklin Graham approached the podium after Trump had finished and said, “Mr. President, in the Bible, rain is a sign of God’s blessing, and it started to rain, Mr. President, when you came to the platform. ”

Immediately those of faith began reaching out to others on social media pointing out this sign from God. Others noted Bible characters like Noah might have a different interpretation of the event. Still, those like Timothy Egan of the New York Times, saw the rain as nothing more than precipitation coinciding with a “dark, soulless speech.”

Signs from God have never been very effective at convincing unbelievers to believe, so I’m not about to try here. Signs have been most meaningful to believers. So, believers, I’m speaking to you. How will you determine whether the rain event was indeed a sign from God or just a coincidence? Intuition, a gut feeling, the conscious bearing witness are all ways of describing your conviction, but there is one certain way to know without a doubt.

As Graham pointed out, the “rain is a sign of God’s blessing.” Upon the shoulders of our President, the rain fell. Blessings will follow if this is God’s sign and will be absent if it is not.

For all the arguments about what Trump said and how many people attended, what I found most striking was the record number of six religious leaders speaking at this inauguration, more than any in history. I lost count of the number of prayers offered to God for the chief of a country that does not permit such prayer in schools.

Then I heard the President quote Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity,” and promising America “will be protected by God.” I think of Matthew 10: 32-33 when Jesus explained the results of a simple act… recognize Jesus before others, and he will recognize you in heaven, deny Him and He will deny you.

Our President recognized God before the world, and God responded with a sign.

“The Lord will open to you his good treasury, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hands. And you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.” Deuteronomy 28:12 ESV

    

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