The Eve of Redemption

In 1964, a man named PF Sloan wrote a song called The Eve of Destruction. Barry McGuire and his gravelly baritone turned it into a hit song in 1965.

The eastern world, it is explodin',
Violence flarin', bullets loadin',
You're old enough to kill but not for votin',
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin',
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin',
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.
No, no, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Is it remarkable that lyrics written more than fifty years ago may even ring truer today? The eve of destruction. For those of you not old enough to remember, the 60’s were tumultuous days and this song was definitely in tune with the undercurrent of the times. These days feel equally tumultuous to me with the current political situation in this country. There is much unrest, just like in the sixties… except more complicated somehow. Sometimes it can feel like we are careening down a long tunnel toward a horrific, violent demise as a culture… or even as a species.

Don't you understand, what I'm trying to say?
And can't you feel the fears I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away,
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it's bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Admittedly, fifty-three years is a long “eve” for any event (or is it?). A lot has happened in the last five decades but the world is still turning and we are still bopping around on it. If we dwell on all the darkness in this world, it can be difficult to believe that virtue and goodness will ever triumph. I must admit to wondering if there is hope for God’s promise of redemption but I refuse to believe that our only option is to simply live out meaningless days in a pointless life.

What I missed (hey, it’s been said that if you remember the sixties, then you weren’t really there… so I must plead the fifth on any further explanation) in the song at the time was in the chorus: No, no, you DON’T believe we're on the eve of destruction. The song is written as if a plea to those that do NOT believe we are destroying ourselves. I did not realize it at the time, but those words were written for me. Despite so much overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I am compelled to believe in the inherent goodness of all human beings. Therefore, I have found reason to stand upon God’s promise of redemption as written in Isaiah:

The world will be filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea.
Isaiah 11:9

Redemption is not some future event that we are awaiting, but it is available to anyone at any time. In fact, I believe that redemption is at hand. To fulfill God’s promise of redemption, we must understand that a divine spark resides within each and every one of us. We must then use this spark to help illuminate the darkness that fills this world… feed our souls. We cannot illuminate the world, of course, without first illuminating our own lives so that we can rise above our self-centeredness and surrender to God’s will.  We Christians honor the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the instrument of our redemption and there are people all over the world, who believe in God’s promise of redemption, living lives of honor and integrity.  

“Redemption is God telling us that the reason for which He created the universe will be realized: that goodness will prevail.”
Simon Jacobsen

Something is happening in the spiritual realm. God is fulfilling this promise of redemption in individuals all over this planet every day and the spirit of the redeemed heart cannot help but draw others toward that spark… as we are drawn toward the miracle of redemption.

And I tell you over and over and over again my friend,
I do believe we're on the eve of redemption.
Yes, yes, I do believe we're on the eve of redemption.