In Biblical times, the term “heathen” applied generally to a people collectively, especially those who did not worship the God of Israel. Some very intelligent people were “heathen”, but relied on their own resources, and other “gods”.
In more modern times, the term has taken on a sense of derogatory meaning, like a put-down.
But why would the heathen rage in the first place, like back in Psalm 2:1? Let’s have a look at Psalms 2:1-4…..
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed (believers – my insertion), saying, ‘Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.’ He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”
The word “derision” comes from old root words meaning like contemptuous ridicule or mockery.
The tectonic plates of global culture are shifting rapidly and forcefully in this new century. And the pace is accelerating. It’s amazing how much information circulates in a maelstrom of truth, lies, half-truths, and lack of information. Why is it so amazing to hear comments that it isn’t OK to talk about politics? Because in this current atmosphere, the talking is gone, but accusations and compartmentalization are accepted.
The further we take our eyes off the Savior, the higher the tendency to look through worldly glasses. It seems everyone is raging about something, not just heathen. Why? Why is SO important that we rage? Does it do any good? Did Jesus rage in the marketplace? Yes, His zeal for righteousness, truth, and honesty burst forth taking everyone by surprise. But Jesus didn’t normally possess an atmosphere of rage. It was one of teaching, sharing, understanding, discipline and love.
But people “rage” for different reasons. Good rages against evil. Evil rages against good. Perfection rages against mediocrity, diligence rages against laziness and apathy. Opinions rage against other opinions.
Think: Does God the Father rage against God the Son? No Does God the Holy Spirit rage against God the Father? No. There is no rage inside God. There is a profound example there. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit inside us. So, discussions are preferred over arguments. Humans don’t like to be wrong. Being right has a level of satisfaction to it. But only God is 100% right ALL the time. All parts of God are always right.
Unbelievers don’t understand God like believers do. So why is there so much rage at godly things? Because people don’t want to be wrong. Satan doesn’t care. He knows he’s evil, and hates everything God……. So, he knows he can influence humans negatively.
There is power in believers allowing the Holy Spirit to overwhelm our speech and responses to things in our circles of influence. When we pray for opportunities to show Jesus’ love and share His heart with others, there is LESS rage. Sometimes, “a soft answer turns away wrath.” From Proverbs 15:1.
“Lord, prompt us to use more softness and less rage in these tumultuous times. It might not prevent all rage, but the point is to BE like Jesus. And that’s a category we need to be in. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”