“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD (Psalm 93:5).”
A look at the headlines from a news website today is like reading a tabloid. A star quarterback is suspended for immoral conduct involving women; a man has his finger yanked off when a thief pulls a bag with an expensive item from his hand; a British politician is hit by an egg as he campaigns for election.
The world is a wicked place sometimes. Reading the news today, I also was reminded of a riot at a university in my state. This school is located in a beautiful valley location in a normally quiet small city. However, the place became chaotic one night when a large number of students had too much to drink and did things like set fires. I recall one quote in an earlier report about the incident in which one person said that they could not believe how some people could treat others this way.
Yet, in a followup to the case, the local prosecutor, in what appears to be some grandstanding, got a search warrant and invaded the offices of the university newspaper in order to get some photos they took of the riot. There has been an uproar from media advocates about the violation of the constitutional rights concerning freedom of the press. Clearly this law enforcement official overstepped her bounds and actually committed an illegal act.
In the examples above, where I label the behavior as wicked, I am stating my personal opinion. It could be asked,”Who are you to pass judgment on these people?” I agree. I’m not the authority on what is right or wrong.
However, there is One who is, God. A quick look at Proverbs tells us that He detests pride, lying, violence, and selfish desire. It seems to me the situations I have recounted fit into these categories (Proverbs 21:4,6,-7, 25).
In contrast to the wicked people we encounter in this world, there are some who meet God’s approval. The apostle John was given a vision in which the kind of folks who please Him are standing on Mount Zion in Jerusalem with Jesus. They are described as people who had kept themselves morally pure. John says they are blameless, without fault (Revelation 14:1-5).
I don’t think most of us know how holy God really is. We tend to put God into our box. We assign Him our own characteristics or those of other humans.
In John’s vision, he sees a time when God’s wrath will be poured out on those who chose not to follow His ways. I’d sure hate to be in that crowd because it’s not going to be pretty. John’s response to what he saw was, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus (Revelation 14:12).”
With all the evil swirling around us Christians today, it’s difficult to obey and remain faithful. Yet, that’s our task. We have to keep on keeping on because this situation is just temporary. Our eternal reward is that one day we’ll get to live in God’s house where the decorations are sublime instead of in a world of filth.