My Thoughts. . .
When we look at our world, we see it with different eyes. If one hasn’t reached his 21st birthday, some of the changes taking place are welcomed. Some believe change is needed or else. The old must go and the new must be introduced. For someone who is 60 or older, that kind of change is discouraged. However, degraded lifestyles once questioned and rejected are now popular. What was decent and respectful is ridiculed and abandoned as “old fashion.” Some congratulate the change and believe it has been too slow in coming. Others bemoan its appearance and wonder if society will ever be normal again. Congratulations are mingled with sympathy, and one wonders how he can live with his neighbor?
Life has its extremes. One extreme thinks that Jews and Christians waste their time in praying to a non-existent god. They believe such a faith enslaves those who mindlessly believe a god hears their pleas. They view these “believers” as weak-minded individuals who possess a faith going “nowhere.” The other extreme is labeled “faith.” It is a faith based upon assumption rather than on biblical teaching. Sadly, a “feel-good” religion can be conservatively wrong. The middle territory is desired by some and ridiculed by others. Jesus was accused of being an extremist who was guilty of blasphemy according to the Jewish clerics. He was suspected of being anti Roman by the occupying forces. Both parties cooperated in crucifying him and driving his followers behind locked doors.
Long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, a Hebrew prophet wrote,
“Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Why should you be beaten anymore? Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness — only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with olive oil. . . .Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent” (Isaiah 1:4-6; 5:20-23).
Man makes changes that lead him away from God and he congratulates himself, believing he is making the world better. Man promises heaven and pays off with hell. He brags about his love for people as he sentences them to death. He fills his speech by mentioning “God,” but reveals he is talking about himself. He brags about making a great nation while removing the foundation that made it great. He brags about restoring happiness while drowning people in hatred. Man attempts to make himself god. His failures are blamed on the innocent when he himself is the guilty one.
This world is not the home of the righteous. If that thought is ignored, the believer will fall in love with the fallible rather than yearn for the eternal. He may convince himself that his control is badly needed, even when his body rests in the grave. Death will quickly evaporate that kind of thinking. What is left behind no longer belongs to those who have departed. The ultimate gift after death will either bring joy or useless pleading (Luke 16:20-25).
Life has its extremes. What are yours?