This painting of an old man giving thanks for his food is a remarkable work of art. I first posted the painting during the initial Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, when food shortages became real in the United States and a certain unfamiliar sense of panic began to be felt.
The painting is simple, really. An old, gray-haired gentleman with bowed head and folded hands gives thanks for his simple loaf of bread and bowl of soup. His well-worn Bible and reading glasses lay beside his meager meal, and he, in his shirt of flannel, pauses to honor God for his life’s provisions.
The power in this humble painting is that it acknowledges God’s existence and the old man’s dependence on the God he loves and serves. He embodies the Apostle Paul’s great truth that he preached to the Athenians in Acts 17:28, “For in Him, we live and move and have our being.”
Without God, we are nothing but beings competing with each other in a world where predators and only the strong survive. This is the kind of world that will plunge into tribulation after the truly righteous children of God are gone.
In Ancient Greece, there was a philosopher by the name of Protagorus. He is considered the father of modern secular humanism. He is known for the phrase: “Man is the measure of all things.” Plato translated this to mean whatever man says is the truth is the real truth. God and God’s truth are left out of the picture entirely. Secular humanists teach that man can be moral, good, and even righteous without God. Their philosophy teaches that only this life matters and all good is achieved by man’s decisions to do what he judges to be right. God and His word and eternity, according to these humanists who have become the guiding force in the modern academic world, are not only not necessary for morality and goodness, but because God’s righteous laws intrude upon man’s desire for the fullment of his lusts and wants, God’s laws must be abolished and negated in modern society.
Now, folks, this is what our institutions of higher learning, and now even elementary schools have been teaching for the last several years. It is even crept into so-called religious institutions, and the effect has been disastrous upon our modern society. Open rebellion against the truth of God’s word is embraced, practiced, and approved by humanistic evil.
Children and young people in their most formative years are lied to and deceived by godless authority figures and teachers. And we wonder why things are as they are; the evidence is in the classrooms, the media, and in handheld screens.
Finally, I will tell you this. When I was seven years old and in the 2nd grade, I had a teacher named Ms. Luna. I remember in all my elementary years at the schools I attended, and before the Supreme Court ruling, our teacher would open the day with a Scripture reading, we would then pray as a class with folded hands, and then we would stand and say our pledge to the flag.
Old fashioned, you say…maybe,… but as a little boy, it helped mold my pliable life in the right direction. Ms. Luna went a step further; all children in her class were required to memorize the 1st Psalm from the Bible. It was the first scripture I ever memorized, and I can still quote it today. I won’t place all of it in this post, but…I will leave you with the first few words. If just these words guided our lives…life would be much better for all right now….
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”
Oh, to see us return to this lifestyle…delighting in the Lord.
Dr. David M. Griffis