|A perception of naught
Where the majority remains caught
Loving a lie
Not realizing in Adam, all die …
It’s the mystery of Iniquity ..
When it all
All falls down
– Lauryn Hill, The Mystery of Iniquity
It was always me versus the world
Until I found it’s me versus me
Why, why, why, why?
– Kendrick Lamar, Duckworth
For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Romans 1:20-21
“Why are we here? Why is the world messed up?, Why does God allow it?” These questions have flooded many of our minds and the minds of those around us at one point in life. They are valid questions that can either lead us to develop more of the habit of trusting God (see Day One) or trusting ourselves. It all depends on how we answer the question: “Why, why, why, why?”
In the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to a church in Rome at about 60 A.D., he stated that God’s eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen since the creation of the world.” Before we can hope to answer what went wrong, we have to start with what things were like at first. In the Genesis account, we see God create a universe, planet, and humanity. God’s evaluation of the result: “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). Have you ever stopped in wonder at a sunset? Ever been on an airplane, looked out the window, and just admired the clouds that looked like a a plush, white comforter? Watch a nature show in awe of the power of a lion? Have you ever seen the love that is a mother looking into the eyes of her newborn baby? Creation reveals the power, beauty, love and goodness of its Creator.
Tragically, the story doesn’t end there. What was whole, is now broken. What was once pure is now stained. What was “very good” is now only “partially good”. And that isn’t just the story of creation around us, but the story of what is true within us. Because of the corruption of creation recorded in Genesis 3, the result of human rebellion against God, we now have a tendency to reject “God” for the “gods” around us. Paul explained that this shift is the source of our brokenness. Some ask: “But why would God allow this evil?”. We somehow recognize that preventing a child from ever playing outside, to protect them from any danger, would be cruel and stifle their growth. The risks of them getting hurt are justified by their need to explore their world and discover life. The same is true with God giving us the ability to choose good or evil. To truly be given life means that we could choose to reject and rebel against God. Tragically, humanity chose to rebel and we live with the consequences daily.
And that’s where we are now. Broken. Fallen. Lost. And that is why the second step of developing a Gospel-Centered Devotion is to develop remorse for the present state of the world and your own heart and choices. This is the bad news that must precede the good news. Fortunately, this is not the end of the story, but before we properly prepare for bad weather outside, we must first understand the forecast properly. A good and perfect world gave way to violence, injustice, greed, lust, and worship of self, instead of worship of God. This is the mystery of iniquity – where it all falls down. This is why we can relate to Kendrick feeling like it’s “me against the world” and “me against me”. This is the source of our betrayals, and battles. We are broken and we inhabit a broken world. When we develop dissatisfaction with that, we can move toward God’s solution for healing.
- What are some things you’ve admired about creation? What do you believe they teach you about who God is?
- How are things in this world are not as they ought to be?
- What are ways you can sense the brokenness inside of you? What are ways you regret the impact of evil in your life and the life of this world?