Foolishness is an Affliction

Photo by  Andre Hunter  on  Unsplash

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Prayer to God Helps

by Eric Elkin

Some were sick through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities endured affliction;
— Ps 107:17

Last week, the Georgia Senate passed a significant state tax reform bill. The move probably would have gone unnoticed if GOP leadership had not pledged to punish Delta Airlines in the bills’ final draft. GOP leaders insisted on removing a tax break on jet fuel in response to the airlines’ severing ties with the National Rifle Association. The break would have saved the company an estimated $40 million a year.

Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle, a GOP candidate for governor, tweeted on Monday, “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”

Delta employs 33,000 people across the state of Georgia. Thanks to Delta Airlines, Atlanta is one of the largest airport hubs in North America, generating $43.5 billion worth of business in the state. The attack against conservative values amounted to stopping a discount to NRA members flying on Delta to the national conference. At the time the discount was discontinued, seventeen people were affected by the change.

In the 1950’s, Birmingham, Alabama was the economic and cultural center of the South. A city once devastated by the Great Depression, Birmingham made a stellar recovery thanks in large part to a booming economy created by WWII. In the midst of prosperity, the civil rights movement descended upon the city.

Birmingham was not the only city confronted with protests. However, they decided to dig in their heels and fight back against the attack on their values.  Their response was violent and destructive to both property and life.

While leaders in the white community fought change, corporations slowing started to move out of the area. They didn’t need the conflict. It was bad for business. Those companies moved to Atlanta, and almost overnight Atlanta became the economic hub of the South. It has remained so ever since. Perhaps the Georgia Senate should consider a history lesson before making their next stand.

One might read verse 17 and think it suggests a disease is a result of sinfulness. A concept rejected in our modern culture. However, the Hebrew word for “sick” is better translated as “fools.” When we consider how foolish responses almost always produce an affliction, all of a sudden the verse gains clarity.

The psalmist lets us know praying to God helps. It not only affords us time to think if a response is foolish, or not. It helps us become wise, and wisdom rarely produces an affliction.

Click to read: Psalm 107: 17-22

Reflection Questions:

  • When has a foolish response produce affliction in your life?
  • How would you respond differently if given a chance?
  • How do we know when change is good or bad?
  • When have you found wisdom through prayer?

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