As I was contemplating some matters on Monday, I began to think about the comedienne Joan Rivers. She recently died. She was known for her bawdy jokes mostly directed on her own looks or events in her life. She also had a reputation for judging celebrities’ fashion choices at big “red carpet” events. It wasn’t so surprising to hear that the funeral held over the weekend gave the comedienne a grand sendoff. What I do find surprising that the family chose to do this in a synagogue – which is supposed to be a holy meeting place. While I was pondering this thought, I hoped that the speakers did not offend God while they were in this holy place. I wondered if God laughed at the jokes offered in this setting. Do we really take God seriously as the Lord God Almighty? This God who made the universe with a word; this God who takes seriously His love for us and the sin in our lives that He sent His Son to redeem our souls from the very gates of hell.
I wonder also, when God’s patience runs out on us as a nation, will we ask “why are these things happening to our nation?” In a year or two, or ten, when everything comes to a head and disaster is upon us, will we run to God and ask Him why has He allowed us to suffer? I ponder these things and realize I too have laughed at the bawdy jokes before. I have judged unjustly. I have mocked God. I am just as guilty as anyone. I too have come running to God when my world was turned upside down wondering why such things have happened. I understand now, that God allows things to happen to turn us back to Him. Right now, I can see things spiraling out of control for this nation. I see things moving in the wrong direction. Will events that will happen or is already happening turn us back to God or will it push our society further away? Will we allow the correction or turn our fists against Him? These are the things I wonder.
My heart hurts to think about God being mocked and scorned. But it’s happened before. God sent prophets to warn His people, but they didn’t listen. He ended up sending His only Son, but they crucified Him. John the Baptist warned the people before Jesus came that the people of God needed to repent. Some did; others mocked John as a crazy man eating locusts in the wilderness. Jesus claimed to be God’s Son, and the religious people were offended. He was just another crazy man, speaking crazy things to warn God’s people about God’s wrath being stored up for a time. God’s patience will run out. We are getting away with the mocking for now, but there will come a day when the patience of God will end.
How will we as a society react? Let’s get real personal. How will you react? How will I react? I understand from my own perspective that at times I have lack of respect for an Almighty God. God isn’t looking at people who are far from Him to respect Him and glorify Him; He is looking at those who claim to be His. Do we as followers of Jesus respect and honor and glorify Him? This is our purpose. Every one of us has a responsibility to repent of our own actions and cry out to Him for forgiveness. Yes, God loves us, but He hates sin. In that tension is where we find ourselves today.
I wonder if anyone else feels the tension that is swelling up even now. Time is growing very short. Jesus came so that we would have forgiveness. Jesus came for the lost of the world. Jesus came to take the wrath of sin away. We have a part to play in this story. We have to ask for forgiveness for ourselves and for our nation. We have to be a part of the solution to the lostness of this world. We have to cry out for God’s patience for just a while longer while we reach our family and friends. It’s not too late, but one day it will be. I wonder if anyone is listening to the clock ticking besides me.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9