The past year has seen extraordinary and unusual events – at least to those among the boomer generation and younger. Many have noted how strange our lives seem now, as we harken back to a lifestyle of “normalcy” that seems a decade ago or more. And countless are the observers of our culture who nod in their self-wisdom that, “We’re living in a very different world now.” Perhaps. Or perhaps not.
The wise man noted in Ecclesiastes 1.9,
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.
Some might scoff, as nearly every generation of humans believes in the uniqueness of the time in which they live. But Solomon’s observation is not one relegated only to his generation – it fits all generations.
It’s not so different… people still choose to do selfish, indulgent things, without regard for God’s direction in their lives. And they suffer the consequences. Sin is not new, and it hasn’t changed. Neither have its consequences (Romans 6.23) – it still threatens eternal condemnation for the soul.
It’s not so different… people still believe they are wiser, smarter than their Creator, and know better not only what they want, but what God wants, too. Man-made religion has, if anything, prospered in the last year. Oh, make no mistake. There has been no rush to repent – not to truly repent, that is. Some have suggested that the pandemic has reminded mankind of his helplessness in the natural world. But what we have really witnessed is how much more tightly man foolishly clutches his mammon as a source of comfort. And that’s not anything new, either.
It’s not so different… power, prestige, notoriety are still the same intoxicating poison that so many chase after. As much as believers try to ignore these goings on, our entertainment and political class just cannot seem to outdo each other with their sometimes hilariously blatant self-service. If it weren’t so tragic, for so many, it would be funny. But there’s nothing funny about it before God.
It’s not so different… even at a time when so many have rightly pointed out that tragedies like COVID ought to be bringing us together as human beings, we are competing in many respects to see how much we can hate each other, blame each other, and seek retribution for our own faults from some other’s pocket. As Ezekiel noted,
The person who sins is the one who will die. – Ezekiel 18.20
We are all guilty, and outrageously blaming our lot on people who speak other languages, have different skin pigmentations, or (ridiculously) lived and died long before any of us were even a glimmer in our mothers’ eyes, won’t change that. And certainly will not gain us any favor with God.
It’s not so different… there has never been but a single answer to our desperate lot in life. Jesus said,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” – John 14.6
Peter and John reiterated this truth before the Jewish council,
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4.12
That sums up our situation – and it hasn’t changed because of COVID. We still choose to sin, and sin still threatens our souls eternally. Now, what are we willing to do about that? (Matthew 7.21)
May grace reign through righteousness in your life.