The Greatest Threat to Humanity
The Greatest Threat to Humanity
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”
The greatest threat to humanity is not an environmental disaster or nuclear war, or economic collapse. The ultimate threat to society is ignorance, not ignorance of science, but ignorance of God’s moral law. In chapter 4, God brings his legal complaint against the people of Israel. Disasters are decimating the nation. They faced a crisis of morality and social stability (vs. 2). Natural disasters plagued the country, so even the land was mourning. They faced wars and violence throughout the land as the society descended into lawlessness. As a result, people were in an endless search for satisfaction and fulfillment. The more they obtain, the emptier they feel. We see these same events happening in our country today. Our society is forever pursuing more but is less and less satisfied. The more we have, the less content we are. Violence and bloodshed are becoming more prevalent. Theft is becoming more commonplace as businesses continue to struggle with the rising cost of thievery to their business. Some blame the political parties for our social decline. Some blame society itself. Some blame our economy.
In verses 1,4, and 6, we find the reason for society's moral and social breakdown. The nation of Israel was not being destroyed by some invading army wreaking havoc in the land. Instead, the country was being destroyed internally because of their lack of knowledge which began with the leaders and the priests. In verse 1, God brought his threefold indictment upon the leaders. First, he condemns them for their lack of faithfulness. The word refers to truth and integrity and speaks of not just loyalty but a wholesomeness of the soul that comes from following the law of God. Faithfulness is grounded in the desire to know and live by the truth. Instead of seeking to live by God’s law, they pursued the law of their own making. Second, God condemns them for their lack of love or compassion. The word refers to the loyalty of relationships, which include marriage and one's relationship with God. Third, the leaders are condemned because they have failed to pursue the knowledge of God. This consists of objective knowledge (i.e., correct doctrine) and subjection knowledge (seeking a relationship with God). The people had rejected the truth of God and pursued the false teaching of the cultures around them. Instead of finding their satisfaction in God, they sought it from the world, proving it unsatisfying (vs. 10).
The threat confronting our society today is this same threat. When we turn to our culture and the opinions of man rather than the law of God, it leads to a moral and spiritual bankruptcy of the soul. The only thing we should fear is the absence of God and the failure to follow his commands, for it is upon this that society stands or falls. Yet the fear of God is the one thing most absent today. Israel was not exiled because it lacked a strong enough army to resist the Assyrians. It did not collapse because its economy tanked. The nation fell because it abandoned God. The increase in violence and the breakdown of marriage came about because people rejected God and his word.
Continually looking for political, economic, or social solutions will fail, for the problems undermining our nation are spiritual. So instead of looking to our politicians for answers, we must turn to God’s Word and moral law. This begins with each of us. Instead of watching the news and listening to the pundits for truth and answers, start reading God’s word and listening to him. Then we will discover the foundation for genuine peace.