The Bible has a very good word for the present state of things: confounded. It comes from Latin. Confundere means “to mix, jumble together, bring into disorder.”
Confusion is a synonym but when you are confused you can say, “I just need to figure this out.” When you are confounded, you say “It is impossible to figure this out.” It is like a math equation with numbers that keep changing values.
Confounded also has a strong emotional element to it that confused doesn’t. When you are confounded you are prone to be angry, not just confused, and the anger isn’t of the helpful sort. Unstable emotions are part of being confounded.
Being confounded also affects the will. When confounded, you can jump quickly from acting in panic to total resignation. One moment you are ready to do “anything” and the next “nothing.”
Pharaoh’s Army was thoroughly confounded at the Red Sea. The normal working of the mind, the emotions, and the will was thrown into chaos. Utter disorder, a disaster for any army, resulted.
Order and chaos are themes of chapter one of the book of Genesis. God brings order out of the chaos of matter and energy by separating land and sea, light and darkness, plants and animals, man and beast, male and female. We might say he un-confounded the universe. He is a God of peace and order.
These are confounding times. The world as we knew it has suddenly changed.
For young people life has suddenly lost its structure: school, work, sports, clubs are gone. A revolution has happened and the new order isn’t clear. Planning isn’t reliable. Decision making is even more difficult.
Yet it is at times like these that peace and order are a profound reflection of the nature of God. Putting a new order into our lives and our children’s lives (as Moses had to do for Israel in the wilderness) may be an important part of being the people of faith, the people of God in these times.
Consider these areas:
- Keeping the Lord’s Day holy
- Family prayer
- Increased intercession for those in need
- Family relational time: discussions games…
- Chores and home improvements
Do these well and they may pay long term dividends.
This article originally appeared in the Kairos Youth Culture Newslettter, Issue 142 – April 2020
Top photo of A Bible as a labyrinth, © by Kevin Carden, from Lightstock.com, Photo ID: 1643807
Mike Shaughnessy is a lifelong member of the Servants of the Word, an international ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He is a prolific writer. He has written extensively about youth work and currently leads Grandly, a ministry helping grandparents pass on their faith to their grandchildren. He lives in Lansing, Michigan USA.