Weekly Devotional 10-16-23 Fixing What’s Wrong
How does a society of people fix what is legally or morally wrong within their society? An interesting question for sure. Many people would answer, by controlling what is allowed or not allowed within society by enforcing a set of laws and regulations. Other people may answer, “We have laws and regulations and yet these wrongs are increasing more and more each day.” They may say the answer is, “Society must make the penalties greater for violating those laws and regulations.” Others may say, “The means of committing those violations should be restricted or entirely removed.” But do laws and regulations or penalties really fix what is legally or morally wrong within a society? The answer of course is proven to be no.
So what is the solution? The heart (the desires) of man must be changed. Until a person comes to the point where he (or she) detests what is evil, evil will continue. It will not only continue but will grow in complexity and in severity. Now, many will reject this solution and therein lay the root of the problem. Until people recognize that there is something terribly wrong with man, wrong will never be fixed. The need of laws and regulations is evidence enough that there is something fundamentally wrong with man. A fitting example of this is the nation of Israel. Approximately 3500 years ago God chose Israel to be His ambassadors to the nations and gave her (Israel) His laws and commands by which they were to live. Those laws and commands were meant to show the Israelites (and all peoples) their true nature and govern their lives. If obeyed, He would bless the Israelites above all other people. But His laws and commands did not change their hearts. Israel became more like the people they were ambassadors to and became more and more secularized, seeking to govern themselves. This is true of all humanity. In rejecting “God’s Law” man has sought to establish his own law, a law conceived by his fallen nature. A nature that has rejected God and His standard of conduct. God said to Israel “2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage… 3 You shall have no other gods before Me…4 You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth… 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them… 7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain…8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you… 13 You shall not murder… 14 You shall not commit adultery… 15 You shall not steal…16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor…17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:2-3; 4-5; 7; 8; 12; 13; 15-17 NKJV )
Now consider man’s proclivities: “19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21a (NKJV).
Every man (or woman) of course is not a murderer, nor an adulterer or adultress, but man’s depraved nature opens the door to such deeds. Man must be controlled either by outward influences or inward influence. As already stated, outward influences, i.e. laws and regulations, fail to do this. It is only when the inward man (the heart) is changed that the laws and or regulations of society will be lived by, be it man’s law or God’s law. A change must occur in a person’s life before he or she can live by God’s law or even fully by man’s law. Lawful living is just not the makeup of fallen man.
It is difficult for the follower of the Lord Jesus Christ (a Christian) to live by God’s law (standards) because he or she battles with their old nature, but it is impossible for the non-Christian to so live. Remember the old axiom, “Where God isn’t, evil is, where evil is, God isn’t.” The two cannot coexist. Fixing what is wrong will never be truly accomplished until man lives by God’s laws, not his own. The apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote, “Walk in the Holy Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16 NKJV). To walk in the Holy Spirit means to be under His authority, committed to His leadership. Oh that the world, that you and I, would be so determined. Anything short of this prescription is doomed to failure.
Transforming Power, the Work of God on Behalf of man