I find myself immersed in research for a class I’m teaching this semester, and the more I uncover as I dig the heavier my burdened heart grows. I truly feel we live in a world gone mad. Where is sound reason and judgement? There have always been radical factions in the world, but I’m finding a massively growing population of people who are deceived, as the scripture would say, by their vain imaginings.
A while back I worked my way through the book of Jeremiah in the old testament and I’m being drawn back to many of the words and lessons I found there as I view movements in our country towards not only acceptance of perversions, but the embrace and perpetuation of such things.
Why does this burden me? It burdens me because I care, because I love. I love the Lord and I love people. I hate confusion and deception and the destruction that comes as a result of both.
There are theories that purport there is no absolute truth, no good and evil, no right and wrong. This notion is fully embraced by some, honored at least in part by many. How much more contrary to God’s Word can a notion be?
I recently heard a lady speaking on a major news network who professes to be an atheist and she said that atheists are the fastest growing group in America. Really? OHhhh, my goodness! Where did we lose our way? What are the implications for us, for our children, for our grandchildren? This brings me to another topic…
Some groups have as their goal, zero population growth. In addition to these groups, we find many well-educated young Americans who say they do not want to have children. Many of these say this is because there is so much more they can do if they choose not to become parents. They can travel, have more disposable income, essentially they can have an easier, unencumbered life. Hmmm…I guess my heart aches for many reasons. One, children are a gift from the Lord. I know this is true because God’s Word says it’s true. I also know it’s true because the presence of children has immeasurably enriched my life!
I think back over the years and I find the most precious moments have been in the presence of children; other children that were my comrades and confidants when I was a child myself, and my own children, grandchild, and little friends since I’ve been an adult. The delight they bring as I am able to see glimpses of the world through their eyes; the innocence they have when the world is fresh and new, before the uglier aspects of life have been revealed; the simple joys they appreciate with exuberance, from a refreshing pop-sickle on a hot Summer day, to a big splash in a brimming puddle of water right after an afternoon rain…The forgiveness they are quick to give; the love that flows from their tender and open hearts; their bright eyes and trusting ways; their goodness…how could anyone not love a child? A big pile of money would be an empty, meaningless treasure without a child to enjoy it with from this Mama Granny’s perspective! (By the way, that is what Riley sometimes calls me and I think it’s adorable, an accurate description as well..)
So much of what I found in Jeremiah had to do with Israel and their idolatry. They worshipped graven images…how different is our society today? Maybe we don’t erect wooden, bronze, or golden structures as the objects of our worship, but do we worship God and honor Him with thanksgiving for His good gifts? Where are our hearts and thus our treasures? Are they in heaven or are they the works of our own hands? Are they our children, His good gifts, or are they things we buy with money? Good questions we would all do well to consider.
I’m rambling my way through my own thoughts and struggles and choosing to share them here, knowing I’m not the only one seeking to know and to do what is right in a world of chaos. When we stop believing the Bible, when we stop believing that God is who He says He is in His Word, and that His declaration of right and wrong is true, we’ve lost our way. I’m deeply troubled for our nation and our world. None of us are or can be perfect. Thankfully, God provided the way of repentance for all who confess sin and ask for forgiveness. Trouble is, people are trying to abolish the very notion of sin, thus doing away with the need for repentance; a complete dishonoring of God’s authority. This is what is so very troubling to me.
Jeremiah 10:10-15, “But the Lord is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting King: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. He hath made the earth by His power, He hath established the world by His wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by His discretion. When He uttereth His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of His treasures. Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.”
I couldn’t help but think about this the other day when the thunder clapped and rumbled through leaving behind lasting vibrations that could be felt, quivering, from the power of the storm. I thought of the earth quaking and the seas roaring, the smallness of man in the presence of God. Where does one turn, I wonder, when they realize all things they’ve held to are false and time has run out, the offer of repentance over? That is what grieves me most.
Scripture tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world…”(Psalm 19) Surely we’ve all witnessed this as the sun rises revealing the vastness of the heavens that stretch over us, and as we’ve looked out over the sea to waters stretching to distances beyond sight, yet it remains within the boundaries God ordained for it. How can we behold His glory and fail to know He is here?
I pray for wisdom, for reason, for pure compassion and the grace to pray so that others will come to know Him for who He is and find peace beyond measure in the assurance of His sovereignty.