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Recalling Houston

December 15, 2006

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Exodus 12:30

For the final months that I lived in Houston, I worked for the Texas Department of Health in a VD epidemiology unit affectionately known as the Clap Club. That was back when the worst thing a health worker could get from a needle was stuck.

I have absolutely no doubt that a lot of people I encountered in those days are now dead.

Because of the way my brain sometimes works, I was thinking about Houston while reading Exodus 12. God delivered the Israelites from Egypt and left a wake of death behind them. We don’t know the exact toll, but the first born of every household and their livestock had to be horrendous.

When I left Houston in 1979, the CDC estimated that one-third of the city’s male population had been infected with an STD at one time or another. That was when penicillin was curative. New diseases hit the radar, medical developments eventually meet the challenge, but reprobate behavior never changes without supernatural intervention.

I’ve lived in several places since then, but Houston reminds me the most of Egypt. I don’t know why it should; sin is sin, everywhere you go. Maybe Houston had more neighbors with gold earrings.

Wherever we hail from, Christians are part of the remnant delivered from the City of Destruction. God redeemed to himself a particular people, for whose sin Christ’s death atoned. And we marvel constantly at how few people understand that. The philosophy-enchanted world thrills to its jollity as a substitute for eternal life in the joy of its Lord. Prayer is everywhere, but there is no peace.

Everywhere, man knows that because he is a sinner, he is at enmity with God. Man’s sense of enmity with God is the source of all his terror, all his unrest, all his misery. It is ineradicable and universal. It must abide so long as man knows he is a sinner. But so long as it abides, he cannot be other than miserable.–B. B. Warfield, “Peace With God,” in: Faith and Life, Banner of Truth, p. 333

1 comments:

Victorbravo said…
I left another City of Destruction this late afternoon. The tree that fell on some cars in a parking lot made an interesting contrast to the Nordstrom holiday decorations.Everybody was happy shopping. There’s a lot of glitzy jollility down there this time of year.

5:55 PM  
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