Greece’s predominantly Socialist policies have brought the country to the brink of disaster. For years there were major warning signs of impending crisis. Those who sounded the alarm were largely ignored. Citizens continued to insist on retiring at age 61 with generous government-funded pensions. The work ethic in Greece is questionable at the least!
There are at least two significant lessons that come from this countries experience. First, they failed to heed warnings. A number of nations—especially Germany—have sounded the alarm for years to no avail. Similarly, the metaphor of the Watchman in Ezekiel 33 illustrates what often happens when human nature meets accountability.
Remember that Ezekiel was appointed by God to be a Watchman—a guard or sentry—to the nation of Israel. When Israel ignored his warnings God assured him that he wouldn’t be held accountable: “But if you warn a wicked person to turn from his way and he doesn’t turn from it, he will die for his iniquity, but you will have saved your life” (33:9). Later we read that instead of taking personal responsibility, those who ignored Ezekiel wanted to shift the blame: “Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s way isn’t fair’” (v. 20).
Regarding responsibility, Principle #17 in Ezekiel in my Life Essentials Study Bible states “Though we may be affected by our parent’s sins, each one of us is responsible and accountable to God for our own attitudes and actions.”
The second lesson comes from Greece’s failure to accurately predict the consequences of their chosen form of government and lifestyle. Even now, Greek citizens on the news don’t seem to grasp how much they will suffer as a result of their country’s financial insolvency. Sadly, their history of support of Socialist leaders means that they have no one to blame but themselves.
Luke 14:25-31 encourages readers to think ahead: “For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, after he has laid the foundation and cannot finish it, all the onlookers will begin to make fun of him, saying, ‘This man started to build and wasn’t able to finish’”(14: 28-30).
Thoughtful consideration of possible actions involves the ability to establish the right priorities. Here’s another supracultural principle from, this time from Luke: “To be a dedicated believer, we must always make our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ a priority over all other relationships as well as over our material possessions.”
Please remember to pray for those in Greece who have not yet come to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.