I was reading an article one day with examples of how some people and groups attack religion. Things like judges who were trying to make churches and synagogues bow to their ideals, the censoring of public prayers, and banning the mere mention of God. That got me thinking about how the attitudes of today compare with what some Pharaohs did in their day ("America’s War on God," The Good News, Nov./Dec. 2014).
Will we allow God to be erased from history?
In ancient times, the pharaoh was declared to be the god Horus, son of Re, the sun god. When a new Pharaoh took the throne, he did not want any remnant of the pharaoh who reigned before him to remain. To remedy the situation, the current Pharaoh would often replace his predecessor's name with his own on anything of importance. It was also not unheard of to chip away the facial images of previous leaders from statues or carvings to make them unrecognizable. It would inevitably falsify historical truth, making the current pharaoh seem more important. This is why it is often difficult to completely and accurately restore the history of those days.
One striking example of such things is the Pharaoh Hatshepsut who ruled Egypt in 1478 B.C. She was officially ruling jointly with stepson Thutmose III, who ascended to the throne as a small child. Her rule was only discovered in 1790. In an article by Joshua Mark it states, “Her name was erased from her monuments following her death which strongly suggests that someone, most likely Thutmose III, wanted to remove all evidence of her from history. Later scribes never mention her and her many temples and monuments were often claimed to be the works of later pharaohs” ("Hatshepsut," Ancient History Encyclopedia, Joshua Mark, Oct. 19, 2016).
How does that compare to what’s happening in current times?
It seems like not a lot has changed in Egypt. In a New York Times article, it states the following: “A Cairo court ordered that images of the ousted Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, and his wife, Suzanne, as well as their names, be removed from all 'public squares, streets, libraries and other public institutions around the country.' Posters and portraits of the Mubarak's are ubiquitous in Egypt. Squares, sports fields, libraries, streets and more than 500 schools bear their names. This mandated erasure is meant to serve as closure for the Egyptian people after three decades of Mubarak rule” ("Erasing the Face of History," Sarah E. Bond, May 14, 2011).
It reminded me of the following scripture: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9, New International Version).
The erasure of God
Much like the Egyptians's erasing of their history, there is a current trend to erase God. Sometimes it’s subtle, and sometimes it’s blatant. One way society is erasing God is by disregarding His law. Obvious examples are making things like abortion and gay marriage legal while lessening the penalties for crimes. If we ignore God’s law, we essentially disregard God’s importance. Even those claiming to be God-fearing Christians are often willing to accept bad behavior in the name of acceptance. Society is slowly being convinced to accept all sin because if we don’t, we are hateful. People try to use our Christianity against us by quoting Christ’s command to love one another (John 13:34). But Christ also said He had not changed anything concerning the law (Matthew 5:18).
A simple Internet search shows ways God is being erased. Not allowing public prayer, banning the posting of the Ten Commandments, and convicting those who uphold their religious principles. There have been outcries by various entities to remove Scripture, the name of God and Christ and other religious symbols from government and private monuments. There have also been cases of schools banning students from saying things like “God bless America.”
Laws have even been created to make sure no religion is displayed. For example, France’s law #2004-228 of March 15, 2004, "secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools," bans wearing conspicuous religious symbols in French (government-operated) public, primary and secondary schools. In recent years, many U.S. schools have also tried banning the reading of the Bible. Although these cases were remedied due to public outcry, how long will it be before there is no outcry from the public and how many cases do we never hear about?
More and more, society is turning away from God. Many hotel chains are no longer allowing the Gideons to leave Bibles in rooms. Some try and fail to stop Bibles from being displayed or distributed in various public, private and government areas. Others, however, still succeed.
We must turn back to God and stop trying to follow our own desires. We must remember, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).
Will we allow God to be erased from history?