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  • Stephen D Blum Jr

Watching Tombstone...


(Wyatt Earp) “What makes a man like Ringo doc… What makes him do the things he does?

(Doc Holliday) "A man like Ringo has a great empty hole right through the middle of him… he could never kill enough or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to fulfill it.

(Wyatt) "What does he need?

(Doc Holliday pausing) “Revenge.

(Wyatt) “For what?

Doc Holliday after longer pause) "Being born.


Doc Holliday in this scene from 1993's "Tombstone" profoundly describes the human condition in the shortest version I've ever heard. Along with most of us, Doc (and Johnny Ringo) have encountered frustration and resentment in their limited ability to get what they want out of life. Yet God has temporarily decreed our frustration, and the Psalmist's prayer is not for God to set Man free, but to continue to thwart fallen man's intentions here in Psalm 9:

“Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight.” (Psalms 9:19)


Wow. What a way to put it... "let not man prevail..."

Shouldn't Man prevail? And what is Man trying to overcome exactly?

He struggles to overcome his condition. Created in God's image, this highest creature of God's created order seeks to fulfill his wildest imaginations and aspirations. He feels limited in his ability to explore and understand the extent of the universe and its secrets. He strains to conquer his own physical limitations and understanding, and in the end to triumph over death itself. He chafes at his lack of knowledge and like Narcissus glories in his own refection. He resents death, poverty, and anything that keeps him from fulfilling his passions, including his guilt for doing so.

He resents his predicament... and the God who arranged it. Whatever the charges laid against scripture, it cannot be said that it does not accurately describe the human condition.

Yet what does the Psalmist cry? "Don't let Man succeed!". God thwarts Man and Man struggles against the just chains and limitations that God has imposed.

Man in his struggle to have no limits to his power struggles to be God.

But only God has NO limitations.

And here we see starkly the true nature of our father's rebellion in Eden... and the depth of his (and our) our fall. God is just in limiting the rebellious creature Man. Man will justly be brought to the judgement bar of God to give account for his rebellion, as revealed in the verse's conclusion:


"Let the heathen (nations) be judged in thy sight".


God will answer that prayer as well:

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:" (Matthew 25:31, 32)


This is the inevitable end of fallen Man, the looming cul-de-sac which fills the nations with understandable terror and gives relief to the political machinations we witness today. There is no higher truth than this. God EXISTS, is just and good, and therefore shall judge and have His way. And those rebels who lay down their arms and embrace the Son will receive mercy.

Have YOU embraced the Son??

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