[forthright] The Trail of Tears (1)

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 07:23:52 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

Richard Mansel goes to the Bible to answer ... "The
Most Important Question." Great for classes, groups,
evangelistic studies and individuals. 


The Trail of Tears (1)
 by Richard Mansel, managing editor

Slavery and the treatment of Native Americans are two
of the most shameful events in American history.
Likewise, the Trail of Tears is one of our nation's
lowest points.

Before the term Manifest Destiny entered the American
lexicon, the concept was very real. White settlers
filled the countryside. As a result, their land-hunger
became voracious.

   "Between 1816 and 1840, tribes located
   between the original states and the
   Mississippi River, including Cherokees,
   Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles,
   signed more than 40 treaties ceding their
   lands to the U.S."/1

President Andrew Jackson established the policy of
Indian relocation in 1829. The next year, gravity took
hold and the future of the Cherokee Indians took a
tragic turn when settlers discovered gold on Cherokee
land. /2

Cherokee leaders tried to save their people by signing
the New Echota treaty in 1835. The treaty ceded "all
Cherokee territory east of the Mississippi to the U.S.,
in exchange for $5 million and new homelands in Indian

Soon, the Cherokee nation was on their way to Oklahoma.
Their journey, in their own tongue, became known as,
"The trail where they cried."/4

We can take their tragedy and make application to our
Christian walk.

First, life is neither fair nor just. Spiritually, we
find opposition at every step. Satan, the god of this
world, attacks us daily in his quest to decimate God's
people (2 Corinthians 4:4; John 8:44; Job 1-2;
Ephesians 6:12).

As a result, we will face persecution and hardship as
Satan attempts to destroy our faith (2 Timothy 3:12).
As Christians, we should see the broader view of man's
existence, we must be aware of these attacks, realizing
why they occur and what they mean (John 17:14). Sin
made the world unfair, not God.

Second, in a lesser way, we all have our own Trail of
Tears. Sorrow is an undeniable part of the human
experience. Sin came into the world and death followed
(Genesis 3). We are born with our own tears and we die
with the tears of others.

Wayne Jackson wrote, "Human beings are the only
biological creatures on earth to shed tears in times of
emotional distress."/5 Grief and tears fill the pages
of Scripture (Job). Death perpetually waits for our
last end (Hebrews 9:27).

The Cherokee, and the other tribes involved, suffered a
horrible wrong that still resonates. Let us not allow
Satan the opportunity to do the same to us as
1/ http://www.nps.gov/trte/historyculture/stories.htm
2/ Ibid.
3/ Ibid.
4/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

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