Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. (Psalms 28:3)
Fifty-four years ago when I was saved, I was more than blessed with my salvation. I was also blessed to be born into a family with a pastor as my father. Not only was he a pastor, but he was a diligent man who helped to shape my theological training and gave me the right perspective of the word of God. I believe the most significant part of my training was his teachings on the sovereignty of God. I learned that God is in control of every minute detail of His creation, and whether good or evil God works all according to His eternal plan. Much of the time, if not most of the time, we cannot see this because we can only deal with the here and now and have no ability to discern how all contingencies play their part in the whole.
Two years ago, the largest casino in the State of California opened in Rohnert Park. The roads were clogged for hours—at one point peaking with a 24 mile backup on highway 101 to highway 37 in Novato. Nearly every day I pass this casino on my way to work and I am amazed how interest has not waned. At all hours every day the parking lot is full. I must confess I do not understand how a casino in Rohnert Park figures into God’s eternal purposes. I thought about this for a while until I read the 28th Psalm and realized how perfectly suited this Psalm is for this magnificent building. God has His eyes on these things as well and uses them to accomplish His purposes. You might wonder how I could possibly see a casino in the 28th Psalm!
Obviously, there is not a picture of that nearly one billion dollar building in my Bible, but there certainly is a word picture of those that operate it. Notice verse 3: “Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.” How perfectly descriptive of the devious leaders of the Graton Rancheria. They speak so eloquently and make such wonderful promises of how they will help the city of Rohnert Park.
The owners and managers busily sow the seeds of goodwill by donating to charities and promising funds for numerous social and governmental services. They appear to be doing wonderful works for the community, but the real intent is to suck the life out of those who can least afford to gamble their family’s income away on their vices. It is no secret that these devilish enterprises prey on the poorest of the community. The casino leaders can afford to sprinkle a little cheap goodwill here and there while they reap the millions taken in from glassy eyed fools hoping to beat the house. One such fool was quoted in our newspaper. He was asked how long he was going to stay. How long? His reply, “Until I run out of money!” He was dumb enough to stay when he was sure he would not beat the house! “A fool and his money is soon parted” is an old English proverb surely based upon the wisdom of Solomon. “The workers of iniquity speak peace to their neighbors, but mischief is in their hearts.”
How does this work into God’s eternal plan? I do not know the smaller details, but I can see the big picture. At least I can say this: If God needed vindication for the destruction of the greedy and selfishly wicked, He established another count for indictment in His court of justice. We prove every day by the defiance of His Holy Commandments that we fully deserve the fires of hell. Surely the flames are higher and the heat is intensified for those that put wickedness in front of their neighbor and entice him to imbibe.
The depravity of man is on display in Rohnert Park in all of its deplorable radiance. Some have said our city will never be the same. I do not think it has changed at all. The crud that was always beneath has simply been exposed to reach the surface.
Pastor V. Mark Smith