The NSA and God
Who could be comfortable connecting the National Security Agency (NSA) with God in the same sentence? But read on. The New York Times this week broke a new story with further astounding details concerning the NSA’s global surveillance program. Turns out the agency “has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks” (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-connected-to-internet.html?_r=0). According to the report, through on-site agents the NSA has been able to secretly insert tiny circuit boards or USB cards that transmit radio waves. Through those radio waves NSA monitors are not only able to “spy” on the content of those computers, but can also utilize those same waves to launch a crippling attack on the computer system(s) of that nation. The Times observes: “The N.S.A. calls its efforts more an act of ‘active defense’ against foreign cyberattacks than a tool to go on the offensive. But when Chinese attackers place similar software on the computer systems of American companies or government agencies, American officials have protested, often at the presidential level.” And so the revelations of the shadowy world of our government’s surveillance programs continue to unfold. Candidly, who of us would be surprised to discover that a video record of all our waking and sleeping is being kept in some hideaway subterranean fortress! And God? OK, let’s be honest—the Bible is clear that a 24/7 record is being kept somewhere of every inhabitant of this earth. Jesus Himself taught: “‘But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken’” (Matthew 12:36). Somebody’s keeping a rather exhaustive record, wouldn’t you say? “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). (Which, incidentally, means that the NSA’s covert activities are themselves being recorded on Somebody’s Supercomputer—call it poetic justice!) But what shall we call God? How about our “dearest friend”(Mss 80, 1903). But what kind of a Friend would order 24/7 surveillance? Switch the focus for a moment. What if we had (and we do, you can be sure) an enemy who rants and rails against us 24/7—our phony hypocritical lives, our ad nauseum repeat failures and sins, our utter unChristlikeness? How could you ever silence such an adversary without a 24/7 record? “What do you mean they are fakes and failures? Look at their records! Note how often they have cried out to Me to save them, to forgive them, to empower and strengthen them for living above your deceptive attacks? Look at the record, and let it be shown that in answer to their prayers I have covered them with the spotless robe of My own perfect life!” Trust me—having a 24/7 record when the evil prosecutor is throwing the book at you isn’t bad news—it is very good news! So let the NSA spy on and on. The very dearest Friend you and I have sits on the throne of the universe. And there will be justice meted out one day. But in the meantime, let Mercy’s record show that we have chosen as our Defender (1 John 2:1), our Judge (John 5:22) and our Friend (John 15:14) the Jesus Savior of Calvary. Which makes His 24/7 surveillance the best news of all.