MY COUNTRY, RIGHT OR WRONG

WHEN the U.S. and Russian forces were closing in on Berlin to put an end to Nazi Germany, Gen. Eisenhower telephoned his Russian counterpart Zhukov because he had rightly figured the final push would cost America 200,000 irreplaceable lives! He therefore asked him 'to do the honors' of taking Berlin – a ploy that elated the Russian general! But the truth of the matter was that the U.S. general was bent on pursuing what was then code-named "Operation Paper Clip," which was to make sure the world's brightest scientists would not fall into Russian hands!

That was how we got Werner von Braun and that is why we have reached for the moon—literally—and established the one and only reliable Space Shuttle Program.

Dr. von Braun was not by any means a politician. He hardly knew anything about politics. His brilliant mind was only preoccupied with that pioneering science called space technology and jet propulsion.

As soon as he got to the States and became an American citizen, a reporter asked why he served the losing cause of Nazi Germany at all. His answer was: "My country, right or wrong."

This brings us to some salient teachings of Scripture, namely, respect for authority. What comes to mind first of all is the case of King Saul and the young anointed future king of Israel, David.

After David slew Goliath, King Saul was so impressed with the young "lad" that right then and there he drafted him into his service and invited him to live in his royal palace and dine with him at the royal table.

Very soon after this, however, there was the inevitable falling out between the two. Every time King Saul dispatched him on a military mission, David was always profoundly successful. And this engendered jealousy on the part of Saul. Every time David came home from a military campaign people kept singing, "Saul has slain his thousands and David his tens of thousands!" So from this time on King Saul had determined in his heart to kill David himself – at his own hands! But every time he tried to pin David to the wall with his spear, every time he hunted down the young man with his forces in the Judean hills and desert, David always eluded him. Now, for his part, David made it so plain and clear to his men and gave them this stern order: "Touch not the Lord's anointed." Why? Well, of course, Saul, right or wrong, was still king. God had put him there.

And this is a lesson for us: a man of God, a leader, may stray from the straight and narrow way, but that is no reason for us to 'stab him in the back.' Why? Because for reasons known only to God, it is His business and His alone, not ours by any means. And God will not hold us guiltless if we cross the line!

And here is one final incident in the Bible that comes to mind. In this case, it is that of Moses, the head of state of Israel in the desert for forty years on their way to the Promise Land. Then in the course of time after his wife passed away, he remarried. And this opened up an issue that remains to this day – nay, not an issue but in reality the problem of prejudice. Moses married an Ethiopian (Cushite) black woman – much to the displeasure of his brother Aaron and especially his sister Miriam. They made an ugly issue of it openly! As a result, God struck her with an ugly, dreaded disease at once!

There are always terrible consequences to betrayal. It could happen immediately or over time. God's judgment for betrayal may be immediate or delayed. But whether delayed or immediate, it will surely come. This, everyone can verify if he has eyes to see. What is worse yet—and my deepest convictions tell me—is that God's judgment might take place both in this life and in the life to come – for the rest of eternity.

"My Country, right or wrong" could also be transliterated: "My leader, right or wrong." Touch not the Lord's anointed!

Manny Ferrer
April 2013

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