But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be...... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God..." --- 2 Timothy 3:1, 2a, 4b
Our republic is really in a quandary of unprecedented proportions, is it not? There are just all kinds of things happening -- an election in the making with not a single candidate addressing the real issues that directly impact the future destiny of our nation -- a "war" that is hotly discussed and debated on a daily basis -- financial crises and a national debt that continues to escalate!
But the one thing that is beginning to dominate the thinking and decision making of most U. S. citizens every day is something called gasoline and related components such as diesel fuel and heating oil.
It makes headlines in newspapers and TV news reporters are positioned beside a gas station pointing to the recent increase in gas prices (as this is being written, I bought a few gallons yesterday at $3.99 per gallon in Nanty Glo PA) and use a growing favorite expression in their vocabulary -- "pain at the pump!"
There is a scramble to explain why and who is responsible for this growing expression of greed on the part of some very influential persons somewhere -- God alone knows who they are, where they are and what they are doing. The good news is that in due time He will return upon their heads the fruit of their doings -- no one has beaten the "law of sowing and reaping" yet and none ever will!
But maybe there is another factor to consider in all this chaos -- perhaps the "god" of Pleasure is beginning to be hammered a bit! God's actions at times are directed to the "deities" a nation forms for itself.
For decades we as a nation have been on a "pedal to the metal" pace in our pursuit of pleasures of every possible kind. It would take a long amount of space and a considerable amount of time to detail them all here.
It is evident to anyone who looks a bit and listens that we are a pleasure saturated country, and are constantly attempting to devise new ways of experiencing pleasure.
One obvious tragedy in this is the well established fact that we cannot get half of our population into a place of worship on Sunday morning to even go through the motions of worshipping the God Who brought this mighty universe into existence by simple spoken commands!
Sunday, as mentioned elsewhere on my website and blog, ought to be renamed Funday -- it is a day of zealous pursuit of pleasure from border to border and shore to shore.
Interesting, is it not, that now there is much talk not only about gas prices, but what heating costs will be this winter and the ripple impact from fuel prices in terms of groceries and various consumer goods.
Could it be that those guys I see gassing up at a gas pump (tanks on 4-wheelers on a trailer towed by a gas guzzling pick-up) on Sunday mornings may be forced to revise their pleasure agenda in the future? Many other examples could be cited as people deal with costly expenses related to the pursuit of pleasure to the neglect of giving time, attention, money and worship to the living God!
Stop and think for a minute -- a lot of decisions are going to be made and a lot of plans changed due to drastically changed financial spending -- we'll spend a lot more money on our gas, our heat, our groceries -- which means leas money for our pleasure pursuits than we've been used to having. And then there is the fact that many families are up to their eyeballs in debt because they made the deadly mistake of adopting the philosophy of "instant gratification" -- just have to have those things that enhance our fun times even if we have to go deeply into debt to get them.
Something we so easily forget -- the thing about God as He begins to deal with a culture and its rebellion is that He has many methods at His disposal and can keep turning the screws tighter and tighter as time progresses!
Of course we also have an abundance of information available that if the tactics do not bring about the desired results, then eventually judgment is employed and God has done that very thing a number of times, but somehow the dominant spirit in our republic right now is that we feel we are an exception -- besides, this is a "Christian" nation, isn't it?
What will be the next "god" or "goddess" on God's hit list? Now is the perfect time to review a portion of 2 Chronicles 36 -- see how one people fared who thought they could ignore God and get away with it -- start reading at about verse 11.
"For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD." --- Exodus 12:12