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June 23, 2017

A Proverb makes this important statement:  “When the righteous increase, (are in authority) the people rejoice, but when the wicked man rules, people groan.”    Right on!     There are hundreds of references in the Bible to right and righteousness.   That God-breathed Book is about righteousness; what it looks like, how it acts and how it becomes ours.   God alone is righteousness in essence, so it is to Him we go to understand and to find it.    The true righteousness that might mark us is a gift of God, given to us by Jesus Christ, who died “the just for the unjust to bring us to God.”   He clothes us in robes of His own righteousness.

Do I need to make the comment that such righteousness is in short supply these days?  Nothing illustrates it more than the recent trial for rape of a famous television star.   Once the charge was laid, dozens of women lined up to accuse him of forcing himself upon them.   The trial failed for the jury could not agree on whether the sex was forced or consensual.    Consensual sex, other than by a married man and woman, may not be illegal, but it is certainly wicked; so in fact, all were guilty to one degree or another.   But the whole incident  indicates something very serious – the blaze’ attitude people have toward sexual deviance.

Little, if anything, has been said about the underlying issue – adultery.   What was a man or woman doing in circumstances that involved such behaviour?  Obviously, rape must be dealt with quickly and suitably.   But, unfortunately, we live in times when the general public glibly accept and practise adultery or fornication as if they were meaningless.  Marriages are damaged and families are torn apart, but the perpetrators face little public shame or condemnation.  The attitude seems to be, “Do what you please; just don’t rape!”

Unrighteous deeds abound, almost inundating our society; in some cases supported by public funds and legal resources.   It is tragic that government officials, civic leaders and the curious, committed masses alike bow in a public display of adulation before the gods hedonism, unbridled lust.   The display across this country of crass immorality bears no shame or reproach, and no fear of consequences.   God will have the last word on that!

A holy God has another point of view – a righteous one.   His word declares, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

It is a moral, social and spiritual tragedy that so many in our culture involve themselves in, or treat with nonchalant indifference, that which God condemns.    The standards of righteousness are clear, but we have allowed famous moral derelicts, abandoned laws and public acceptance to whitewash evil.   Thank God, because of His mercy, there is a solution:  “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”

The evidence is: we live in a fallen world and all of us are vulnerable.  The solution is –  “The blood of Jesus (shed on Calvary’s cross) cleanses us from all unrighteousness.”    Because of that glorious truth, accepted with humility, repentance, faith and obedience, we can live in moral purity in an immoral culture like ours.  The poet helps us understand.  “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.  Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”

Crucial to the survival of our nation and to the blessing of God is the visual and inner righteousness of God’s redeemed children.  We are called to be light in dark places and to be salt where culture decays.   “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.”   Are we so blind or indifferent to God and His laws that we can blithely turn away as if none of this matters?  May it never be!  The Lord our God will not let it be.

A fellow pilgrim,  Arnold Reimer


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