Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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November 28 – In The Face Of All Evil

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart.”  Gen. 6:5,6

Devotional Thought For The Day

When you think that things have gotten just about as bad as they have ever been, then it’s time to head back into the historical record of Holy Scripture and contemplate the reality described therein, especially in regard to human nature which has been contaminated by sin.  This verse occurs as introductory to the great universal flood account.  Note the darkness of this assertion, and Who it is doing the observing and describing.  God saw this, and the evil couldn’t be described as being any worse: “every intention of the the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  This described every human being.  Solomon noted the same thing about mankind:  “There is not a just man upon the earth who does good and never sins.” [Eccl. 7:20]  Isaiah observed this same reality: “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.  There is no one who calls upon Your name, who rouses himself to take hold of You.” [Is. 64:6,7]  These descriptions are dismal and morbid, and all inclusive.

The Lord Jesus knew and taught the same thing:  “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?  But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.  These are what defile a person.” [Matt. 15:17-20]  So also the apostles observed, described, and taught the same thing in regard to fallen mankind, that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” [Rom. 3:23] and that “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” [James 2:10]  So it should not surprise us when we observe or are made aware of the dismal, wretched, wicked, rebellious, and abominable thoughts, desires, and behaviors of people in the world today.

It has always been this way, and we should remember that the same sinful nature exists within us – although we are taught not to indulge it:  “But that is not the way you learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” [Eph. 4:20-24]  So we acknowledge that our sinful nature is no better than any other human being; the difference is that we have been fighting against it, killing it through repentance and faith, and striving to “put on the new self.”

God did destroy humanity in the flood, with the exception of Noah and his small family.  But this was not His final response to the dreadful plight of sin-infected mankind.  Rather, He sent His beloved Son to be our Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ. In His suffering and death He has taken away all of our sin and guilt, and through faith – “learning Christ” – we are being renewed in the spirit of our minds.  In the face of the great destruction and evil of mankind’s corrupt sinful nature God did not become a pessimist, but was hopeful enough to deliver His beloved Son into death for our sins, even death on a cross.  This optimism is based in His power, and the great power of His love, which makes ingress into our hearts and minds through faith in Jesus Christ, so that we are already being “transformed into His image,” and when we see Him we will be like Him. [2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Jn. 3:2]

The devil wants us to give up on mankind, to throw up our hands in utter pessimism.  God wants us to get with His program – to continue reaching out to others with the knowledge of God, His goodness, His will that we repent of our sin, His assurance of gracious forgiveness, mercy, and eternal love – which has the power to change and transform the worst human beings, which includes us. The evil around us is nothing new, or surprising to God – so let us deal with it as His people have through all of human history, with repentance and faith in God’s love, and with zealous outreach to those around us, as Scripture encourages us:  “Save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” [Jude 23]

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, protect us from depression and despair in the face of all of the dismal and wretched evil that goes on each day in the world around us, and keep us from falling into resignation.  Strengthen our resolve to live in Your grace and mercy, and help us to be whole-hearted in the renewal of our hearts and minds.  Save others as well, moving their hearts to repentance and faith.  Help us to understand and to adopt Your own hopefulness and optimism.  Amen.