God Gave Them Over!
Scripture reading for November 18th: Romans 1-3
My wife and I have raised 5 children and discipline has not been easy. Children are born with a strong sin-nature. They want what they want, when they want it! Part of the job of parenting is to set boundaries and not allow the children to have their own way. Sometimes, their own way could be dangerous and lead to injury or possibly death. As parents we want to instruct our children to make wise choices that will enable them to go through life with God’s blessing and favor. We use various means of discipline to help them out but when they become old enough, they must find out for themselves.
In Romans, the Apostle Paul describes God’s discipline on those who refuse to acknowledge Him and His right to direct and discipline their lives. God makes Himself known to all men through nature. (Romans 1:20) When men, made in God’s image, refuse to acknowledge the truth about God as creator and sustainer of all life they come under God’s wrath. God’s wrath is His holy anger against sin and rebellion. God’s wrath is something that is happening on a continual basis and also something experienced by those who die in a lost state after the final judgment.
As a result of suppressing the truth about God that was made clear to them by God through nature, men become darkened in their hearts and their thinking becomes futile and empty. They imagine themselves as the center of all things and think they are wise and intelligent. This foolish thinking leaves God out and puts man at the center of everything. When man chooses this route, against all evidence to the contrary, God’s response is to give them over to what they desire in their darkened hearts. “Have it your way!” might be another way to say it!
As a result of being given over, men exchange the truth of God for a lie and begin to worship created things rather than the creator. (Romans 1:25) They go into sexual immorality and sin. The sexual immorality takes the form of homosexuality and lesbian activity. Every kind of sin and wickedness flows from God simply withdrawing His light from their minds because of their choice to ignore plain truth! These under God’s wrath of being ‘given over’ not only participate in this wickedness but honor others who also practice this same kind of wickedness! (Romans 1:32)
As we look at our nation and it’s spiritual state, we can understand where we are in God’s sight. He has given many people over to their own lusts and darkness. Much light is available, but when men refuse light and choose darkness, God gives them over. He forces no one to follow truth, but offers truth to all. He wants none to perish but has made provision for all who will choose salvation. The power of the Gospel message offers righteousness by faith to all who will believe! (Romans 1:16-17) Lord, have mercy on our nation!