|"What do you mean I don't belong at the table?"|
I'm sorry. I guess I got a little carried away, there. But this is what I see happening around me. The air is charged with animosity. All in the middle of "Love wins" is this ball of hate. It's as if people are looking for a fight. With anyone. With everyone. It doesn't matter who. Just poke me one time, and that'll be the last time. I'm not going to wait for you to explain. I'm not going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm going to unload all of my pent-up frustration and anger. So don't step wrong, or you've got it coming.
We are studying the book of Judges now in our Bible Study. The judges were leaders who were set over Israel by God after the death of Joshua and the elders who were with him. We read in the second chapter of Judges that "there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger (Judges 2:10b-12).
This is disturbing. The book which we had just finished was the book of Joshua, which ends with the victorious Israelites entering the land of Canaan. They had defeated their enemies with amazing feats and with God's help. Do you hear the trumpets? Victorious!!! And yet, the next generation - the children of those valiant men and women, KNEW NOT THE LORD! How can this be? How could they have gone so far to fall so low? And you know what? This happened OVER and OVER and OVER!!! The book of Judges is made up of chapter after chapter of God raising up a judge over Israel who delivered them from their enemies and turned them back to God, and every single time the next generation went back to following other gods and back into captivity and oppression.
Don't you want to yell across the ages - "Hey you! Don't you get it? You are supposed to do what God says! He gave you rules and he told you to teach them to your children! To write them on your foreheads and on your doorposts so you wouldn't forget them! Hey you! Why don't your children know what is right???"
Why don't our children know? Why does each generation get farther and farther away from God, and away from His laws, and away from the laws that were set up by our founding fathers? Why are we straying so so so far away? Generations from now, when people look at our history will they want to scream at us as I would like to scream at the ancient Israelites? Will they say the same thing: "Why don't your children know what is right?"
Because they don't. They know what they like. They know what is politically correct. They know what makes them happy. They know that bullies are bad. They know that religious bigots are bad. But they do not know what is right. They are taught that everyone is allowed to live the way they want. They are taught not to say someone else is wrong, even if they believe something else. They are taught that what they believe is their own opinion and it doesn't mean everyone else has to believe or behave the way they do. They are taught that there is no right and wrong, only shades of gray. They are not taught what is right.
The rainbow was given by God as a promise and a reminder. It did not condone the behavior of men. It was a covenant with all of the people and animals which would ever populate the earth from then on, that God would not destroy the earth by a flood again. (Genesis 9:8-17) It was rather in spite of the evil that man can do. In Genesis 8:21, God said "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every living thing as I have done."
I wonder, those people who have made their profile pictures rainbow colored on Facebook, who fly the rainbow flags and display the rainbow bumper stickers, do they know what that rainbow means? It does not mean that what they are doing is right. It means that God will not give them the punishment they deserve in this world. But I fear for our children. They don't know that this life is not the end. That they have an immortal soul which will not die with their bodies, but will have to pay the price for their actions. They don't know that the price is paid for those who repent, or turn away from their sins, and who follow Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They don't know that going against God's will is sin, that sin is payable by death, and that they are in danger. And they don't know that there is a way out, a way to freedom and eternal life with God. Because they are not taught what is right.