Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.
The first thing that caught my attention: When there is no knowledge of God “in the land,” or among the people of the land, there is no truth or mercy, and horrible things will happen.
I know this is about Israel, and I do keep that constantly in mind while I’m studying. However, who can possibly read these two verses and not see how America is following in that same path?
Without God, there is no truth. Truth cannot be based only in how we feel about anything. There has to be an absolute against which to measure truth. God is that Absolute. Without knowledge of Him, truth becomes relative, which makes it negotiable. God’s truth is NOT negotiable!
Without God there is no mercy. God has shown infinite mercy in allowing His Son to die in my place, in the place of all mankind, for the remission of sin. When we lose our awareness of that one thing, sin becomes of no importance. The only things that matter are the things we care about for ourselves. If other people get in our way, well, too bad for them.
Proverbs 9:10 tells us that the fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Without knowledge of Him and His Word, there is a dearth of wisdom in the land. Mercy becomes only what pleases each individual.
When we lose the knowledge and awareness of God, we lose truth and mercy. We devolve into evil behaviors, calling wrong, right; and right, wrong. Look at the things God’s prophet, Hosea, mentions: We devolve into swearing, lying, killing, stealing and adultery. All are forbidden in God’s earliest statement of Law, the Ten Commandments. And worse, we devolve so rapidly that one bloody deed follows another so quickly that they blur into one.
Let’s look at America. Those of you from other countries can, I’m sure, make application to your own situations:
Swearing: It is common. It is rarely censored out of films, news, etc. You are “privileged” to hear God’s Name taken in vain with every OMG that shows up on your computer screen or smart phone. Even more prevalent is the F-Bomb, which seems to shower down on us like rain these days. To me, it is indicative of great anger and selfishness, as well as a lack of vocabulary.
Lying: Again, lying is so prevalent that one hardly knows who or what to believe. The talking heads, the news media, ever-campaigning politicians, heads of state–lies, lies, lies. Denials abound, but truth is obscured by lies to cover lies to cover more lies.
Killing: Abortion. Domestic violence often ending in murder. Drug overdosing ending in death. Suicide. Gang killings. Random killings. Mobs bent on bloodshed. We are surrounded by death and violence, Even our “entertainment” often centers on who died, how they died, and how many others will die in pursuit of justice. Blood follows blood.
Stealing: Theft goes all the way from mob-vandalism and looting to high-tech crime; industrial theft, international theft, even “petty” theft when a household member raids the wallet of another household member. I wonder if God sees ANY theft as being petty. It also includes harmful statements that rob others of their good name and character.
Adultery: Betrayal of one’s marriage vows is abhorrent to God, because marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. But even professing believers seem to find adultery way too easy these days. Adultery also portrays the worship of other gods. Israel was horribly guilty of idolatry. So are we. Our idols are just a little different from theirs. Entertainment, pornography, violence, books, etc. Anything that replaces the importance of God in our lives can become an idol.
When a nation is guilty of all these things, then one bloody deed touches off another, and soon these deeds are no longer surprising, upsetting, or even newsworthy.
In 4:1, God told Israel, “I have a controversy with you!” He has a controversy with all of us who no longer flinch or look away from sin.