THE year ‘s at the spring,
And day ‘s at the morn;
Morning ‘s at seven;
The hill-side ‘s dew-pearl’d;
The lark ‘s on the wing;
The snail ‘s on the thorn;
God ‘s in His heaven—
All ‘s right with the world!
So wrote Robert Browning a long time ago.
That God is alive and well, we will not deny. God is everywhere, omnipresent, we know. We cannot contain God. There is a whole lot more we could say about God, but what about the world? Can you say that all’s right with the world? Furthermore, which world are you preparing your young people for? The world that is past, the one in which you grew up or the world that is present and coming.
You see, things are changing. They are not getting better. They are getting worse. You can fool yourself and bury your head in the sand or you can face reality. You choose. There is no human savior on the immediate horizon. There is no magician or fairy godparent, politician or otherwise, who has a magic wand to wave and make things better. We have set a course and the path we are on is troubling.
All’s Right with the world. Really?
Ask people what they see in the world today and one of the words that you’ll hear is “hatred.” You’ll also hear other words like “uncertainty.” People have a sense that something is wrong. What does not come to the surface immediately in the answer is the blatant disrespect for God and God’s ways in many quarters. Sure, many people talk about God but actions speak louder than words. Many actions today go contrary to the great commandments:
He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37–39).
Instead of love for each other we get fraud, manipulation and a system that says the poor don’t matter. Human life is not valued. People kill at the drop of a hat on an individual level and on an international level. There is the horrific persecution of Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East, Africa, and other places. Tent cities, the homeless’ last place of refuge, are removed without regard for their existence. Where are they to go? The people who remove them don’t care. In the midst of all of this, people are blatantly dismissing God, denying God, and mocking those who claim to know God. There is no love of God. Can you say that all’s right with the world?
God is alive and well. We know that. However, which “face” of God are you seeing?
Some Perspective when All’s Not Right with the World
We like to talk about the God who is love. God is love. That is major. However, we must also remember what is stored up for those who flaunt God’s great commandments:
Ah, you who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!
Ah, you who are wise in your own eyes,
and shrewd in your own sight!
Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine
and valiant at mixing drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
and deprive the innocent of their rights!
Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them (Isaiah 5:20–23, 25).
Consider something that Jesus said: “He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did” (Luke 13:2–3).
So what’s the point?
Can All be Right when we Thumb our Noses at God’s Ways?
When we turn away from the way in which God wants us to live and do not turn back to God in repentance, what can you expect from God? When people despise the very name of Jesus, the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), what can you expect from God? Do you expect God to just smile and say, “it’s all good?” All’s right with the world? Right.
God is alive but can you say that all’s right with the world? It is not.
We have sinned and taken the grace of God lightly. Can God be pleased? Will God not judge the world?
So what do you share with and teach your young people?
- Are you talking about the word as it is or the world that we all wish it was?
- Are you teaching an “all is always well Christianity” or that there are consequences to our actions?
- Are you teaching of the need for repentance or that they can just breeze in and out before God?
- Are you teaching that God is a benign and doting grandfather who gets excited when the baby makes a sound, even if it is a blasphemous sound?
The sins of the world are many. God loves the world but God is also the righteous judge. It’s time to go to God in full repentance and to seek God’s mercy through Jesus Christ. It’s time for you to do so, time for me to do so, and time for your young people to do so. Will you lead them?
Living fully. Living faithfully. Following Christ.
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