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31 | The Ironical Tweet

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I quit watching CNN years ago, but I recently became aware of a very ironic tweet by a CNN commentator named Keith Boykin.

Now I don’t know much about Boykin other than the fact he was also once an aide for former U.S. Democratic president Bill Clinton.

So what was so ironic about the tweet? Well, Boykin called former Republican President Ronald Reagan a sinner. Now there is nothing wrong with calling Reagan a sinner, because the Bible says that we are all sinners, including me, Reagan and even Boykin.  

But the irony, as we shall see shortly, lies in why Boykin called Reagan as sinner.

Hi may name is Dean Smith and in this podcast, I want to talk about the Bible’s answer to Boykin’s ironical tweet.

Fires are so common in California that they are starting to name them, like they name hurricanes. In his tweet, Boykin was referring to a wild fire called “Easy Fire” which started October 30, 2019, and was put out six days later on November 2. But before it was finally put out, the fire destroyed 1,806 acres in the Simi Valley, threatening about a 1,000 homes resulting in the evacuation of 26,000 people.

So what was Boykin’s tweet about?

Well Boykin was responding to an article on Fox News that stated “Easy Fire” had surrounded the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library also located in Simi Valley resulting in its evacuation.

Boykin simply tweeted in response to this Fox News article:

“For those who think God punishes sinners with natural disasters.”

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin), October 30, 2019”

Boykin, from all appearances, was sarcastically tweeting that Reagan must have been a sinner because God punishes sinners with natural disasters.

Though it was completely surrounded by Easy Fire, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library never burnt. But John Heubsusch, the executive director for the Library, stated that this was the closest the library has ever come to burning down.

So you are probably wondering what is so ironic about Boykin’s tweet?

That is a very legitimate question, because the irony lies in what helped save the library from the fire.

In addition to the brave men and women who were directly fighting the blaze and were able to stop it a few feet short of the library, there was also a second critical group who played a vital role in the library’s salvation.

Goats. Yes G.O.A.T.S. Those four legged creatures that bleet and eat everything in sight.

Because every spring, the Ventura Fire Department brings in about 500 goats to eat the brush and grass surrounding the library creating a fire wall around the complex.

They are rented from a business called 805 Goats that supplies goats just for that purpose and in fact these goats are becoming an increasingly popular way of fighting the fires that routinely plague California.

With the brush previously cleared away by the goats, the fire lost its oomph as it climbed the hill towards the library and the firefighters were able to stop it.

So you are probably wondering where is the irony?

Well remember how Boykin called Reagan a sinner because of the fire and how the property was saved by goats.

Well in Leviticus chapter 16, goats played a key role in the most important date on the Jewish calendar, the Day of Atonement, when the Jewish High Priest made sacrifices for the sins of Israel.

Part of this annual sacrifice included two goats. The priest used lots to determine which one of the goats would be sacrificed for the sins of Israel and which of the goats would become the scapegoat.

Once the selection was made one of the goats was sacrificed and the priest would lay hands on the scapegoat and transfer all the sins of Israel onto the goat.

After all the sins of the nation were placed on this goat, the priest would then take the scapegoat far out into the wilderness and release it, where it would then carry away Israel’s sins.

22 The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

Leviticus 16:22 NASV

In the New Testament, we are told that Jesus fulfilled all the sacrifices of the law and part of this was fulfilling the role of the scapegoat that became sin for Israel.

Speaking of Jesus, the prophet Isaiah said:

All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

Isaiah 53:6 NASV

Notice how Leviticus said all the iniquity of Israel was placed on the scapegoat, and then Isaiah speaking of the Messiah, says all our iniquity was placed on Jesus.

Jesus was our scapegoat.

So yes Mr. Boykin. Ronald Reagan was a sinner, just as I am.

And it is ironic that you mockingly said Reagan must be a sinner because his library was about to burn, but it was saved by goats, just as Jesus the scapegoat sacrifice saved Ronald Reagan because of his faith in Christ.

I think there is a bit of irony in that.


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