Sighing and Crying
…and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”
Earlier this morning, the United States Supreme Court voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage across the country.
I wish it had surprised me.
No, more than that: I wish it had shocked me. I wish, more than anything, that this morning’s landmark announcement had blindsided me and left me absolutely bewildered.
It didn’t. It couldn’t have. As a country, we’ve been awkwardly and slowly lurching in this direction for quite some time now—and at long last, we’ve arrived. We made it. We’ve legalized a way of life that God condemns as an abomination (Leviticus 20:13), and we couldn’t be prouder of ourselves. President Obama called up lead plaintiff Jim Obergefell to congratulate him and tell him, “Your leadership on this has changed the country.”
It certainly has. Companies like Tylenol are already falling over themselves to let everyone know how supportive they are of this modern view of family and love.
I just wish it was surprising. But I think we’re way past shock now. We were warned long ago that those without God’s understanding are walking in the “futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” (Ephesians 4:17-19). The things we’re seeing today were inevitable.
We might not be surprised—but are we sighing and crying? Does this most recent leap into the moral abyss fill us with anguish at our country’s continuing descent into the realm of abominations, or are we just shrugging our shoulders with indifference?
So often throughout the pages of the Bible, God’s people are characterized by those who followed the command to “rend your heart, and not your garments” (Joel 2:13). In many cases, they lived in the midst of corruption without becoming indifferent toward it. When Jeremiah surveyed the behavior of his countrymen, he wept (Jeremiah 9:1-2). When Nehemiah heard of that same destruction, he “sat down and wept, and mourned for many days” (Nehemiah 1:4). In his own captivity, Daniel beseeched God “by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes” (Daniel 9:3). Again and again, the holy men of God are the ones who cry out in anguish to their Creator when they see corruption rear its ugly head.
We have to do the same.
The Supreme Court’s decision brings us one step closer to the end of this age—a time when mankind will take pride in increasingly awful sins, parading them in the face of their Creator (2 Timothy 3:1-5). If that isn’t something to weep about, I don’t know what is. If that isn’t something to compel us to cry out to God and rend our hearts, then nothing ever will.
The prophet Malachi also lived in the midst of corruption—a time when people “call[ed] the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free” (Malachi 3:15).
What did God expect His people to do in response?
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.
“They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.
We need to be talking to each other. We need to be holding fast. We don’t treat this as normal because this isn’t normal. This isn’t okay. Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is a time to weep, and this is that time. This is a time to cry out to our God and pray for His Kingdom to come, because that’s the only way out of the mess this world is staggering toward.
Sighing and crying means we refuse to stagger with it.
So let me ask: are you weeping yet?
Until next time,
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