We often think that if we could just start all over again everything would change.
Sometimes we do get a new beginning in an area of our lives but usually we find that we are the same person with the same strengths and weaknesses and everything doesn’t change.
The downward path
After creation there was a downward moral spiral. Adam and Eve rebelled. Cain murdered Abel. Lamech bragged that he was worse than Cain and should get greater consequences. Finally, there was a flood where the vast majority of humanity was destroyed. (Genesis 3:1-19; 4:1-16; 4:19-24; Genesis 6:5-8 7:17-24)
God made a choice
After the flood there was a new beginning for Noah and his descendants who repopulated the world.
God promised Noah that he would not destroy the world with another flood. (Genesis 9:11-17)
He also told him that humanity would enforce his law against murder. He punished Cain but now humanity would punish murderers. (Genesis 9:1-7)
God would not intervene to stop every crime. He would still judge directly on occasion but he delegated responsibility to humanity.
A system began that grew into governments, laws, police, courts, jails, etc.
It is hard to fathom or calculate how much time, energy and money humanity has spent because of crime. Our moral failings are costly in many ways.
Genesis 9:6 may be the most expensive verse in the Bible.
Our sin has consequences
When we act immorally there are consequences.
We are separated from God.
We create divisions between others and ourselves.
We create habits and addictions that further drag us down.
We may injure our bodies in ways that limit our lives.
And, we may break laws and have civil consequences.
We can’t get it right
Our system of laws and enforcement never seems to work perfectly.
Some who are guilty are not punished and some who are innocent are convicted.
Paul lived under Nero and told the Roman Christians to submit to the government and to pray for government officials. (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2)
In a democracy citizens have rights and responsibilities that make us a real part of the problem and the solution.
We should submit and pray. We should participate and question. We are part of our world and should seek to change it for the better.
How do you view your role in the world and what difference does this make in your life?
How can you personally make your world a more just place?
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