18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Solomon has a reputation for wisdom. It is well deserved. We all remember the famous story about how he took the hooker’s baby and threatened to slice it in two. We believe he was able to write down many thoughtful Proverbs about how life is best lived. However, he made alliances with surrounding nations by marrying their pagan daughters. He compromised his faith and allowed pagan practices to grow unchecked on the high places of Israel. His son, Rehoboam didn’t pay heed to his father’s words possibly because his actions spoke louder. In one sense, under Solomon, the country progressed in prestige, technology and wealth. However, in the way that really mattered it regressed. It adopted godless patterns of thinking that would, many year later, lead to its demise and exile.
We have indoor plumbing, personal computers and telecommunications systems that span the globe. We can send people into space, explore the outer regions of our own solar system, and we have medicines that keep us healthy and make us live longer. We look sideways at Aristitotle and Plato, because they were men rooted in their backward age. Metaxas tells us that we have ceased to hold up people from the past as heroes. Anything before this present age is corrupted by racism, agism, sexism, or nationalism. However, we have ceased to have big answers to big questions. Individuals have been authorised to work out the meaning of life in private. Public life is reserved for seeking passing pleasures or making a profit. Although we often symplistically label all things new as progress, The Apostle Paul questions that assumption. He shows how the devolution of the mind is inevitable once the mind ceases to be in right relationship with God the Creator. We have clever gadgets and we have instant access. However, our frantic pace of life keeps us from seeing our descent into hell.
Life is pointless. Our hearts are dark. We think we’re clever because our science has disproved God. We create mythologies in movies and computer games. People in our age have replaced the transcendent with the vulgar and we think we are clever.
God, we thank you for the ingenuity to create machines and systems that make this world more easy to live in. We repent of the thoughts that deceive us into thinking we are gods. May we bow down in awe before you and regain the mind we have lost.
- What are the markers in the passage of human regression?
- What is the word translated ‘futile’ in Greek?
- How do we see cycles in the Bible of godly and futile thinking?
- Is the country in which you live making progress or regressing?
- How can you be a factor in reestablishing the Christian mind?