In Ecclesiastes 1:9, Solomon proclaims, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” That might explain the following verses from Isaiah, written thousands of years ago, that read like they were written yesterday.
“Do not call conspiracy
everything this people calls a conspiracy;
do not fear what they fear,
and do not dread it.
The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy,
he is the one you are to fear.” Isaiah 8:12-13
Conspiracy theories receive a lot of credibility today because there is a widespread belief that we are being manipulated by the power of others. When there is no higher level to appeal to, not the Lord Almighty or even the common good, there is just a power game where the most powerful win. In his recent book on the future of freedom, Os Guinness writes, “If all relations are negotiated solely by power, the best protection against the unwanted power of others is to approach everyone with suspicion … the outcome is an aging society fueled by pervasive suspicion, mistrust, rumor, conspiracy theories and cynicism. … suspicion is the best insurance against the mounting menace of manipulation by the power of others.”*
When I read that, I immediately thought Os had been talking to my 21-year-old son, Chandler. He definitely carries that suspicion of everyone, as do a host of other millennials and probably many of the rest of the population, because it is a prevailing attitude of the culture of the day. There is no one we can trust — no central source of information we can all agree on. Everyone goes to the news source that confirms what they already believe. If you believe in conspiracy theories, you go to the news source that reports them as fact. If you don’t, you go to the news source that debunks them.
So what am I going to tell you? The same thing Isaiah told us. I’m going to tell you not to be afraid. Conspiracy theories or not — do not fear what they fear, instead, regard the Lord Almighty as holy and fear Him. Whatever you believe, that’s the important thing: not to be afraid. If you are afraid, you are ceasing to believe that God is the Almighty God above all other power and authority. If God is no more powerful than the latest conspiracy, then we are all in big trouble. Might as well put your hope in Santa Claus.
But God is God. He is over all, in all and through all. No one and nothing can conspire against Him. So love Him. Honor Him. Fear Him. Even if it is all a power game (and it is not) He is the one on top.
Don’t miss our interview with Os Guinness tonight. (Hint: It’s being pre-recorded and you can you can listen any time after 2 pm Pacific by clicking here.)
*Guinness, Os, The Magna Carta of Humanity, Inter Varsity Press, Downers Grove, Illinois, 2021, pp 111-112.