I conspired once with my son to cover-up an incident. I broke a treasured ship-in-a-bottle that my husband constructed as a gift to me for our fifteenth wedding anniversary. We blamed it on the dog, for years. My husband never much liked the dog after that. Poor dog died without knowing why he was on the outs. Sorry, hon, I should have told you; it was a good dog.
Nixon was purported to have said that without Martha Mitchell there wouldn’t even have been a Watergate scandal. Almost foolish in its goals: securing information from the Democratic National Committee in the effort to reelect the president; these events brought Nixon down. Conspiracy turned to cover-up and scandal. If no one spoke up, it would be a conspiracy today.
Many things go on every day in the world. Most of it results in nothing. Some leads to tragedy or triumph. These consequential events cause a few to wonder what lies behind the veil. Is there a secret cabal ruling the world, did someone stand to gain, or was it all planned to the last detail?
Why do we ascribe bad motives and devious planning to others? Well, first, we don’t know what they intended and we hate not knowing. And second, we know what we might do in their place and it is usually not good. We violate the golden rule in thought and deed.
Professor Emeritus M. Barkun says conspiracies can be grouped as: event, systemic, or super conspiracy. A mysterious assassination is an example of an event conspiracy. Infiltration of a group with broad goals into an organization is a systemic conspiracy. And multiple event and systemic conspiracies linked in complex, hierarchical ways extending over time and distance is a super conspiracy.
Job, an Old Testament poet, was subjected to a conspiracy of sorts. God sought to prove Job’s goodness to the adversary, Satan. God allowed the adversary to destroy all but Job’s life and his wife. We witness the transactions in heaven, but Job doesn’t.
To him, his entire calamity seems without justice. If only he could argue his case. If only a mediator would step in between God and man to reconcile them. He knows his redeemer lives and that he will see Him in the flesh after his death. And Job displays this confidence without having beheld God at any time.
After God reveals Himself in the whirlwind, Job retracts his charge of God’s injustice and repents in dust and ashes. God thereby proves His claim about Job to the adversary through Job’s faithful obedience and repentance from sin.
It is never clear if Job finds out why he was tested. To him, it was a trial for endurance. And, yet, we are told that unseen powers and principalities were contending for his downfall and their supremacy over him and God.
Job’s trial presages another trial that happened at a more opportune time, the very fullness of time. Many kingdoms rose and fell through conspiracy and intrigue in the intervening period. These came to bitter ends; unremembered, except through equivocal stone monuments to greatness and squalor. All that is now hidden will be revealed at the Judgment throne. Dead men will tell tales. At that time, will you be like Job or his adversary?