The wicked blessed by the Lord’s providence and yet curses his Name

Introduction

The most glorious city in the world at the time of AD 410, Rome, was sacked by the barbarians. St Augustine took up his pen in 413 AD and wrote the most famous world treasure in literature in Christian and non-Christian alike,  The City of God.

The book shook the world and became the foundation stone for much of philosophy of the world today. Today we can learn a lot from Augustine as we face our present world of turmoil , godlessness and uncertainty. After the Barbarians sacked Rome, an unbelievable occurrence in the minds of the entire Roman population that the most glorious powerful city in the world with its civilization of luxuries could be sacked by anyone. Rome was stunned at her collapse with all its glory.

Chapter 1

The Ungrateful Betrayers

In sacking of the city of Rome by the Barbarians in the AD 400+, the Barbarians actually stopped killing those who escaped into the Christian sanctuary of sort out of respect to Christ. And those Romans who were totally godless and brutal also made use of that opportunity to seek refuge in church and they were spared. But instead of being thankful to Christ, they gave credit to their own luck.

Many people today were blessed by the common grace of God, but thereafter they turned around and failed to give credit to the God who saved them. For those Romans who were spared by the onslaught of the Barbarians because of the name of Christ, they failed to even acknowledge God. Today, many have been blessed by the goodness of God in their lives, been to universities, good jobs, and make a good living, however, deep inside they continue to pursue what’s in the fleshly desires, with no intension to give God the glory and thanks. So much so our Americans society sees the church as a decline and irrelevance delegating the church to the old folks, and those who are conservative in social values. Anything that that’s attributed to for the good fortune , above God, is called as ungrateful. Being ungrateful, i.e.. failing to acknowledge the God who gives us the good health, the fresh air to breath, the society stability and financial sufficiency is astoundingly disappointing. If there is a movie that shows such an ungrateful character, public would have had an uproar with that kind of figure. However, that’s precisely the very thing the society at large doing! And what’s worse, the society at large engages themselves with even more godless indulgences like blaspheming God’s name, full of lust for more, challenging the image of God for humans. We are all created in the image of God, and what that means is we bear resemblance in the attributes that God had given us as He breathed his Spirit into us. That resemblance of God in us, is now so distorted by the power of sins, seriously the image is so disfigured bringing major wrath of God in the days to come, and even in the present days now.

The spirit of godlessness continues to work in the sons and daughters of disobedience, and the bible calls him as the spirit of the air, the prince of darkness.

Those who escaped the peril of the invasion of the Barbarians, preserved their life on account of the Name of Christ, instead of thanking the Christians for what Christ has covered and protected them, they blamed Christ for the downfall of their city. The barbarians preserved those who escaped to the sanctuary house of worship of Christ, out of respect for Christ. Bu those who escaped, attributed to their own good luck.

Augustine wrote that If they had any right perceptions to attribute the severities and hardships inflicted by their enemies, to that divine providence which is to reform the depraved minds of men by chastisement (discipline), they would have passed through the trials to a better world. This indeed is a profound and deep perception of Augustine. TH problem is these worldly people have absolutely no right perceptions of any kind, as everything they look into is attuned to the depravity of minds. If they has perceived it as a chastisement of God, they would have had the opportunity to repent and grow into something better.

Ungrateful Pride and impious madness

After being saved as these Romans fled into the sanctuary of God and being spared by the Barbarians for their respect to the God of Christianity, these very same people now in ungrateful pride and most pious madness, perversely opposed the Name of Jesus. [1]  The key words I want to bring up is “Ungrateful pride” and “most impious madness”.

These describe the conditions of many in our modern days in America today. While the perverse language flying all over our culture against the Name of Christ, these are the very people who had been blessed by the Name of Jesus. They were brought up in a stable country with the wealth and comfort most nations would envy, and do they already forget the source of all these blessings? Failure to recognize the grace of God upon our nations, upon our families and our lives, is a sure reason of being prideful of our own achievements. It’s like we have, by our own strength, and luck, achieved what we have today. The sheer humanistic pride of what I can do, and what I have achieved with hard work, is a sure way to destruction without recognizing and giving honor and glory to the One who gives us all these. It’s what Augustine called as ungrateful pride. It’s not only pride but being ungrateful. It’s like what the saying says you bite the hands that feed you.

The impious madness as it’s called such is because of two reasons. First, it’s a total lack of reverence to who God is. Not pious or religious; lacking reverence for God, religious practices, etc.; irreligious; ungodly. Lack of reverence and respect to the Name of God and who He is, is the result of centuries of decaying moral due to the works of constant rebellion and relabeling Christianity to what suits human evil depravity. Very much driven by the power of the Prince of the Air. (Eph 2: in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience).

The most scaring thing in my mind is that these people today, in ungrateful pride and most impious madness, and at the risk of being punished in everlasting darkness. By opposing the Name who provided all unto us under what’s called “common grace” of God, they perversely oppose that name under which granted themselves for the sake of enjoying the light of this brief life.  


[1][1] Augustine, City of God, chapter 1