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Mitt’s Grits, a Grime Wave and soaring stocks

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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A day after a published news report that authorities are setting up special task forces to stop the rampant theft of Tide detergent across the nation, both police and retailers are denying that the crime is on the rise (Credit: Reuters/John Gress)

Before last night’s presidential primaries in Alabama and Mississippi, Mitt Romney was the inevitable Republican nominee.  “Mitt’s Grits,” some were calling his campaign in the South.  After Rick Santorum won both states and Newt Gingrich finished second, Romney was denied victories that would have solidified his nomination.

Now to the so-called Grime Wave.  According to The Daily, an Internet news source, Tide detergent is being stolen in record numbers as thieves resell it on the black market.  The story made national headlines.  Now we learn that this may not be a rising problem–one company spokesman stated that “theft of Tide is not a new issue in the retail industry.”

Finally, to soaring stocks: yesterday, the Nasdaq Composite closed above 3,000 for the first time in more than 11 years.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 218 points, rising to 13,177, its highest level since May 2008.  And Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index reached its highest level since June 2008.

However, financial experts wonder what will happen as central banks around the world wind down the monetary stimulation they have been injecting into their economies.  This is the third round of “reflation” since the Great Recession began; when central banks slowed their cash infusion in the past, growth slowed and stocks fell.  What will happen this time around remains to be seen.

What do these stories have in common?

Consider this shocking statement by the Lord to Joshua: “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai.  For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land” (Joshua 8:1).  Why was this instruction such a surprise?

Israel was marching across her Promised Land when she came to the tiny town of Ai.  Joshua’s soldiers were routed by the men of Ai, who killed 36 of them and chased the others away.  With this defeat, “the hearts of the people melted and became like water” (Joshua 7:5).  When Joshua asked God why they had been defeated, he was shown that one of his soldiers had stolen from the Lord.  He was executed, purifying the nation.

Now the army was ready to do battle again.  If they lost a second time, the people would likely revolt against Joshua.  The future of Israel was on the line.  But God had already delivered their enemy into their hands; if they would step out by faith, victory would be theirs.

Appearances are seldom reality.  Political frontrunners, news reports and stock market highs may not be all that they seem.  An enemy that defeated you in the past is not so formidable if you are right with God and surrendered to his will.  What Ai are you facing today?