Recently, my Facebook feed was abuzz with negative comments, complaints, and facetious remarks regarding the NFL and refs. People were frustrated and were showing it because of what was apparently a poorly refereed game. I don’t watch sports and I didn’t read anything about it besides what my friends posted.
I couldn’t help but wonder though, as I listened to Joshua 1-9 this morning, that too often we all get frustrated with the wrong things. Joshua 8:1 “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel.” Achan stole the stuff. Achan disobeyed, but God begins the chapter saying the children of Israel committed the trespass. God was angered with the children of Israel. The children of Israel were punished for it. They lose in battle. Thirty-six of them died.
One man’s sin drastically hurt the nation. Americans murder an innocent life every 20 seconds. Pause and read it again. Every 20 seconds. EVERY 20 SECONDS! God will not hold us guiltless. We are guilty before a holy God for murder every 20 seconds. Where are our priorities when we can easily complain about a game, but we don’t take a second or more to talk about this tragedy – at all? I could probably count on one hand my friends who have posted something about abortion this past year. I had more than that regarding the game – in one night. Abortion is the most important issue in every election. This is the most important issue facing Americans. Are you seriously going to complain regularly about the other non-issues? Homeless dogs?! Orphaned kittens? Bad call in a game? God, help us see what You see!
The stuff that grabs our attention shows that we have lost the ability to discern. We have lost a zeal for righteousness. We have become complacent. We have become dull in our senses to sin. How can you think about this fact (an abortion every 20 seconds) and not become sick to your stomach? What if I tell you that doctors give instruction that when a partial-birth abortion turns into labor and the baby comes out they are to “stab the blob with some scissors?” Does that make you want to forget lunch? Does that make you cry out to God in repentance and a desire for Heaven?
Perhaps that is the dilemma though. We don’t want to feel sick to our stomachs. We would rather complain about something that means nothing. We would rather be willing to be upset about something that doesn’t cause us to hate the sin of this world so much. Maybe we don’t really desire Heaven as much as we should. Maybe we love this life too much to recognize the total wickedness that surrounds us.
You can see this ignorant head-in-the-sand approach to life in abusive families. The wife doesn’t want to recognize how bad it really is because she is stuck there. She convinces herself that it is just a little worse than normal, and all families have “skeletons in their closet.” Abused children know their family is different but pretend it is not that bad. They put up with it because that is life. There is no other option. When we see the wickedness around us, we pretend it isn’t that bad. We seer our consciences against the wickedness. We dull ourselves. We say “It isn’t that bad.” And we do everything we can to forget it. We hide the friends in our feed who are constantly posting about it. We wonder why they are always downers. We avoid talking about anything spiritual matters and reserve our conversation to “safe” topics like sports, or the weather. A well-versed sports fan can talk about something all year without touching on anything of eternal value. When we love this life, we do all we can to avoid talking of sin. We know it is there, and like Lot it vexes our souls, but we can pretend it isn’t happening if we don’t read the facts and don’t talk to those people.
(There isn’t anything wrong with sports. There is nothing wrong with desiring the just outcome of the game and for the rules to be followed. However, there is something wrong with that being your focus and what dominates your every conversation.)
Life matters to God. Life should matter to us. Our world is constantly devaluing life all around us. 1. They are doing it by over-emphasizing the care of animals. Animals are here for us. Certainly, “the righteous man careth for the life of his beast,” but animals are never to take precedence over a person. Animals don’t have eternal souls. Christ did not die for animals. 2. They do it by devaluing human life with euthanasia and abortion. They pretend that it is the right thing to do – to relieve pain, or to give freedom of choice.
Our world doesn’t understand the truth, and we as Christians know it but would rather not fight about it. Doesn’t it just make things uncomfortable when the conversation turns towards abortions? Yes! It does! Sin should make us uncomfortable. It is a shame, and an abomination.
The entire nation of Israel was punished for one man’s sin. Don’t think we will escape judgment when our entire nation is murdering babies. You can’t stand at the judgment seat and say “I was complaining about the injustice of the game.” “I wanted cats to have a home.” “I was playing fantasy football.”
How long did it take to read this? 3 minutes? 9 babies were murdered. Oh that we would confess our sins, that we would hate sin. Oh that the Lord would come today!