Morality with God – Isaiah 5:20a,23

Moral Relativism Is Abhorrent To God

20 Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.

Opposing Opinions

Free will is a gift and a curse.  It allows us to both make decisions in life, and have opinions, that are far outside the will and ways of God.  The author of the Book of Romans gives us some insight into how this process occurs:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

The first steps are:

  1. Ignoring God and his commands
  2. Belief that God does not exist
  3. Belief that Man’s deductions and interpretations of life are correct
  4. The worship of the Creation rather than the Creator

Moral Morass

The author of the Book of Romans now breaks it down for us.  Once God is removed from the picture, absolute Truth is no longer a possibility in their minds.  Given that opinions and desires change from time to time, as well as from individual to individual, people no longer adhere to Truth and Righteousness, as they have no external, immutable standard with which to base any semblance of morality upon.

Morality is now subject to the whims of man’s depravity, and thus, moral relativism is born.  What is right for you may not be right for me, but I must tolerate (read: agree with) whatever YOU think is right, even though YOU may not have to tolerate what I believe is right.  As such, truth no longer holds any value, as it has no basis with which it can be moored and evaluated.

The next steps are as follows:

24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

After abandoning God, the strongest desire that God has placed in mankind is corrupted:

  1. God withdraws His hand from guidance in man’s sexual desires
  2. People engage in sexual ways that deviate greatly from the pattern that God set forth in the Bible.  This step involves sexual relationships that occur between men and women:
    1. Swinging
    2. Adultery
    3. Lewdness
    4. Orgies
    5. Etc.
  3. As time goes on, even more people worship the creation rather than the Creator

Pushing further, Man delves deeper into sexual unrighteousness:

26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Being unable to satisfy their desires with the opposite sex (natural relations, as described by Paul the Apostle), they now choose same-sex partners with which to satisfy their ever-increasing desires and lusts.  We see this in the world today, but this is not the first time that sexual depravity has been reported in history:

  • Solomon reported, and rightly so, that there is nothing new under the sun.
  • Lot dealt with this issue during his days (including his daughters’ unrighteous acts of incest)
  • Amnon took his sister Tamar
  • Paul witnessed them during the Roman Empire
  • Monarchs and their families have been dealing with incest for generations (in order to keep the leadership in the existing families

Once they have embraced sexual impurity, the gateway to complete depravity is opened:

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

After the people become sexually “liberated”, they become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity.  They don’t just do them; they approve of those that do the same.  Because of this, justice is no longer to be found in them.

Bought with Bribes

The Bible has quite a bit to say about taking and giving bribes.  God does not approve of bribery.  Yet, once God has given people over to a depraved mind, the idea that accepting and giving bribes is now excusable and may even become the way to do business.  Truth and honor have no part in the life of people who have been given over to their shameful lusts and desires.

Since they have abandoned the belief that God exists, provides for them, and that they are accountable to Him, they begin to believe (and as their viewpoint excludes God, it appears to them to be valid) that they have to take care of themselves because no one else will.  This opens the door to justifying all unrighteousness for the sake of self-preservation.

Inexcusable Injustice

Now that people have been compromised by accepting bribes, if there are laws against such things, they can be blackmailed to do what others want them to do.  Justice has been corrupted.  People who were once stalwarts of truth crumble in light of the possible exposure of their misdeeds.  The very people who provided the opportunity and pressure to cave are now the very people who threaten others’ livelihoods and loved ones if they don’t comply.  We begin to see where people who have always been strong in conviction do something that is antithetical to their stated and previously lived-out life.

Justice is now bought and sold.  The rich and powerful get a pass for unrighteous behavior, while the lowly and poor are given the maximum penalty allowed.  This truly becomes a two-tiered justice system.  Those who agree with the people running the country are given special privilege, and those who dissent are destroyed.  The courts are used as a battering ram to financially destroy their opponents, incarcerate the righteous, and provide such terrible consequences that anyone with lesser character will be easily cowed into silence or into publicly agreeing with their world view (if only in words).

To God, who is Holy and Righteous, this must be infuriating.

A Qualifying Question

Let’s ask a question:  What or whom is our basis for truth?

A short prayer of preparation:

Father in Heaven, You are full of mercy and compassion.  Yet You allow us to go our own way.  You seek after us and watch expectantly for us to return, even though you know the outcome of all things.  You are to be praised and glorified forever.  Father, help me to be strong and to reject any bribery that is offered to me.  In all my ways, keep me from sinning against You.  Help me to keep You in mind at all times.  As I am pressured by people and circumstances in life, give me strength to resist and to stand fast in Your Word and in Your character.  Deliver me from my enemies, and thwart their every effort to oppose You and Your people.  Guard me and guide me this day, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Want more?  Why not try A. B. Simpson or A. W. Tozer?

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