Ecclesiastes 3:16-17 – “Moreover I saw under the sun:
In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there. 17 I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” KJV
Since the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden there has been a bent-ness or propensity for wickedness and iniquity in man’s heart. One teacher said that when man fell in the Garden he was ‘born again backwards’ and in a sense that is true. Man went from being a creature that was innocent to guilty. He transitioned from a creature designed to live forever to one that had death reigning in his members. He was transformed from a creature made in God’s image and likeness able to freely and fully fellowship with God to one who was manipulated and controlled by the devil and gave way to thoughts and deeds contrary to God’s heart and character. The Fall of Man has been felt for centuries and Solomon writing here echoes that condition.
The writer states that as he observed mankind he witnessed that in the place where leadership and judgment should demonstrate righteousness, equity and morality there was wickedness, self-centeredness and righteousness has been replaced by iniquity. This speaks not of political ideology but spiritual condition which often, if not always, shapes our ideology. He continues in the next verses and notes that God views man’s condition and tests us and allows us to realize we are like animals not only in our lack of morality but in our brevity.
I am concerned that we are not concerned enough about the condition of man. I am troubled that we are not troubled so deeply with man’s depravity that we are driven to the intercessors closet. I am convicted that we are not convicted of sin more seemingly because we have allowed wickedness to reign in the seat of judgment and iniquity to replace righteousness in our world. There was a time when many, if not most, of us were heartbroken over sin and I question in my own heart and in my observations today whether we are still that broken-hearted. Oh God, please never let us become so calloused and conditioned by the presence of sin that we allow it to anesthetize us and render us insensitive to the tugging of the Holy Spirit.
I am convicted as I write today and experiencing contrition of heart and crying out in repentance to the Father asking Him to ‘renew in me a right spirit and create in me a clean heart.’ I never want to become so conditioned by the presence of sin that sin does not bother me as I know it bothers God. I do not want to become a Pharisee but I do want to be broken and weep over sin. I do not want my salvation to be solely for the purpose of missing hell and making heaven but a transformation to having the heart of God and desiring righteousness in all things and at all times.
May God be with you as you go through this day!