Its been a crazy few weeks…
It seems like madness has griped our planet. It’s not isolated to a single place or people. Rather the madness spreads like an epidemic into every corner of every continent. With a broad stripe we attempt to paint labels on cowardly and invasive acts, but it’s so ineffective. Labels do not fix the problem. I’m pretty sure none of us have the solution. Least of all the politicians, or leaders we look to for guidance.
In some countries, the problems stem from social, political and racial unrest. Centuries old animosities are alive as if the grievance occurred yesterday. Some of the troubles relate to religious intolerance. Many problems relate simply to how we chose to, or chose not to, get along with humanity.
We all struggle to determine a solution.
There is no easy answer. It seems like there are seasons of peace, and seasons of pain. We are walking in a deep rift of pain right now.
Scripture tells us of a time when the wickedness of man was at an all time high, and God was grieved.
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-7 NKJV)
It must have been pretty bad. I can imagine the wickedness of humanity, because I see it alive in modern times. Today, not due to war, we see unprecedented violence against each other, and even against the unborn innocent in the womb. Atrocities done in the name of God, no matter what word you use to call your holy one are simply wrong actions!
Back in Genesis, what did it take for God to find a solution? He found Noah.
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6:8 NKJV)
Grace? What’s that? In laymen terms we call it the “unmerited favor of God”… A Just man, perfect in his generations, Noah walked with God. (Genesis 6:9)
Wait a minute! What does this mean? Perhaps a few sentences of how it appears to this writer…
He followed God, and God’s command of living, even when the wickedness prevailed. He rejected the madness and wickedness of his generation. He listened to God when God spoke to him of a plan. He took ownership of God’s pattern, and some have figured it took nearly 150 years – maybe even to the planting of saplings until they grew large enough to be harvested for the ark. He preached a message of deliverance even as he was made a laughingstock. Finally, he entered for the last time that final place of safety before total destruction.
There is not one single record of him doubting, or even questioning God’s word. He was covered in Grace, and Walked by Faith. How do we know the Faith part? Faith in God seemed to be in short supply by the masses, but Hebrews 11 paints a picture of leaders and everyday people who lived their life by faith!
Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab the Harlot, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets…
…who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us. (Hebrews 11:33-40 NKJV)
Their faith was what made the difference in each of their own lives, and even to those they were responsible for. Faith to stand up. Faith to fight when needed. Faith when trials came, and yes, it was even Faith that kept them in prison and when they were slain.
Perhaps what this world needs now is not a look of grief stricken sadness, rather, we need to look and live with lives of Faith. Live by the unadulterated Word of God. Love. Peace. Joy. Faith. Hope. Do not lose these. They are what makes our world a better place to be!
There will come a time that the final door to that final “ark” will be closed. Think about it…
But concerning the times and the seasons,
brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them,
as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.
And they shall not escape.
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
You are all sons of light and sons of the day.
We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
But let us who are of the day be sober,
putting on the breastplate of faith and love,
and as a helmet the hope of salvation.
For God did not appoint us to wrath,
but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
Therefore comfort each other and edify one another,
just as you also are doing.
And we urge you, brethren,
to recognize those who labor among you,
and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.
Be at peace among yourselves.
Now we exhort you, brethren,
warn those who are unruly,
comfort the fainthearted,
uphold the weak,
be patient with all.
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone,
but always pursue what is good
both for yourselves and for all.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Do not quench the Spirit.
Do not despise prophecies.
Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely;
and may your whole spirit, soul, and body
be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.
Brethren, pray for us.
Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss.
I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 NKJV)