“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”
The Scripture is a book that gives us an honest assessment of the real situation which we face in our lives. They present the facts and then challenge us to think them through to their logical conclusion. Years ago I had a High School history teacher who had a favourite expression. He would present us with a set of facts and then challenge us to “Think!” We would then begin to sift through the facts and draw conclusions which were supported by the information we had received. Nothing that was unsupported by the facts was allowed to stand. What does this have to do with the book of Micah or Paul’s letter to the Romans? It seems that each author starts with a set of facts, granted they are facts revealed by God, but facts none the less. They then begin to draw conclusions about human sinfulness in a way that is inescapable.
Micah looks at the fact of Jerusalem’s disobedience to the Covenant which god had established with His people. The reality of their sin led to a real experience of judgement. The Apostle Paul assesses the wickedness of human behaviour and sees the reality of God’s judgement falling upon humanity. In both cases what the biblical writer “sees” is a judgement that in essence amounts to God giving humanity over to a punishment which really fits the crime. The deadness of our lives is exposed for all to see. T. S. Eliot describes this so well in his poem “The Hollow Men”. In that poem the uselessness of human existence is exposed. Everything fails us. The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes focuses upon the same reality, “Meaningless! Meaningless! Says the teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 1:2. This Old Testament book explores this theme for twelve chapters and finally brings us to one final hope. This is that we must reverence God for this is the beginning of wisdom. There really is no other hope.
Dr. Tony Compolo expresses this truth by pointing out that when we work with youth and in reality any other age group, the reality we face is that there is an utter and complete deadness within. It is as if God has given us over to our sin. It has alienated us from Him and from one another. Humanly speaking, as we sift the evidence, we might conclude that our situation is utterly hopeless. If we come to that conclusion however we would be wrong. Humanly speaking it is hopeless, but our hope is not found in what we can do for ourselves, or for one another. It is found in that great act of grace accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s Cross. He has taken upon Himself our sinful unbelief, and in exchange given us His perfect righteousness, leading to new life. This transaction accomplished entirely by God’s grace must simply be received by faith. In faith we receive His life for our death. Praise God!