Psalm 77:11 “I will remember the works of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”
The after effects of terror on that fateful day in September have long been burned into the memories of every American. September 11, 2001 reminded the world what a few determined people can do when highly motivated, it was a moment that changed the course of history throughout the world.
Hatred can drive men to commit offenses that leave no real satisfaction but rather diminish the capacity to heal from wrongs incurred. The belief that America is the “great satan” of the West is a product of America’s foreign policies.
The subsequent invasion of American forces into Afghanistan and then Iraq created a lasting fear that pervaded the middle east. The radicalization of Islamic groups in regions such as Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Iran, and now Turkey disposed of leaders favorable to the West with leaders that were favorable to stricter Islamic law. Today, Russia has found a niche by filling the vacuum of power and with that presence a subsequent formation of alliances that look eerily similar to the Ezekiel 38 league of nations.
When we look back at momentous times of great tragedy, we recognize bravery, patriotism, and the unifying effects of a nation under attack. It is often when people have a singular cause by which to rally around do we see evidence of valor that many overlooked previously. The attacks of 911 were only a sampling of a greater attack that has been going on for millenia.
Today, the world is under an intense spiritual attack that rivals the time of Noah.
Matthew 24:36-37 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
What parallels can we see today that reflect the times in which we live?
The Days of Noah
Matthew 24:38-39 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
Have you ever attempted to argue with an atheist? The practice of revealing God’s truth to someone who blatantly denies Christ can be an exercise in futility. For every reasonable argument a subsequent counter argument is given, typically without solid evidence but only leaving the conversation with an air of doubt. If you are able to box an atheist into a corner, look out, the rage against God is very palpable and reveals the stubborn insistence that no proof will allow them to be subjected to a greater authority.
The world continues on in it’s stubborn refusal to consider the times. For those familiar with biblical prophecy, the signs are telling.
Genesis 6:5 “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.”
A telling sign today is the rise of evil. What used to be only practiced in the dark, is now openly practiced in public. People seem to revel in their corruption, like its a badge of honor.
I was recently sitting in a grocery store parking lot, waiting for my wife who wanted to pick up a couple items and I noticed the car in front of me had an array of decals littering its back. A couple decals stood out, one in particular showed a double heart united with two hands in the center with cuffs on. I looked up the meaning later and discovered it was indicative of someone who practiced a sadomasochistic form of bondage. As I scanned the rest of the sticker themes they revealed homosexuality, and other forms of sexual practices the owner had embraced.
I thought it was strange that someone would want to declare to the world their shame but clearly it wasn’t a shame to them, it was something to be celebrated. Recently a friend of mine reported they witnessed a very large woman walking stark naked down the street in Portland, Or. From naked public bike rides, to hedonistic demonstrations on floats in parades, the darkness that was once socially shameful is now accepted as a form of expression.
Matthew 15:19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander.”
When mankind allows themselves to “follow their hearts”, they are opening the door to the sinful nature. Left unbridled, the nature of man only rebels against any divine ordinances that might relegate practices of expression which before God are only expressions of sin.
Genesis 6:11-12 “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”
The term ‘corrupt is the term shachath in the Hebrew, it is a term that implies something going to ruin, or to be marred or spoiled. The term can also denote a perversion or moral corruption against something that used to be good or holy. Not only had the hearts of mankind become continually evil but the earth itself had become corrupt before God. Violence is only a characteristic of evil hearts, it is just another symptom of a world that has gone awry.
The Corruption of Man
Step back and look at the earth from God’s position and you might gain some insight into why it will be burned with fire and purged of its corruption in the final days.
Genesis 1:12 “And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”
When God first created the earth, He declared it to be “good”. This notation is significant, since God Himself (Jesus), reminded us that only God is good. By the time Jesus made this clarification in Luke 18, nothing on earth remained good, but it hadn’t always been that way. Goodness implies perfection. When God first created the earth, He created it in perfection. Creation was a revelation of Himself and mankind was the closest form of Himself by which His Creation could imagine.
When sin was introduced into this Creation, every part of it became corrupt….including us. Satan found Eve to be vulnerable to deception and Adam’s love for Eve became the point of weakness for his demise. Eve was deceived, Adam openly rebelled and thus the blame for our corruption today is attributed to Adam, not Eve.
Romans 8:18-21 “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
Hope of Creation
The curse of sin has pervaded every part of God’s perfect Creation. When people look at the evil and corruption in this world, they question God.
How can God allow for such evil?
When we look at the evil of mankind, we need only look at ourselves. We are the guilty ones, not God. This evil world was not what He intended. We are to blame and if anyone is make amends for messing this all up, it’s the ones guilty of such perversion.
When I consider my own position, I must remember that for every evil Jihadist that blows up buildings, or perverted demonstration of evil , I am no less guilty.
The moment I think of myself as being self-righteous over others, I’ve lost the ability to see myself in God’s eyes. I am part of this corruption, and yet there remains hope.
Romans 8:22-25 “For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
The strength of mankind is found in the Creator. The perfection that once was, is being prepared once again. For those who have accepted the sacrifice of sin, Jesus has become their redeemer. We have been redeemed from this corruption and promised a restoration to all that is good. Our deposit is God’s promise of His Holy Spirit, who indwells the hearts of the redeemed.
When we remember our past, we are reminded of what happens when people reject God. Let’s not make the same mistakes as those who have gone before us. Let us remember the Love of God and His intent for His people.
Stay strong in the midst of this crazy corrupted world, knowing there are brighter days ahead.