Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 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, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Thoughts for Today:Many commentators on the Book of Romans have written extensively on each of the sins listed in our passage today. Let me simply say, if you have any doubt of the pervasiveness of sin, just open a newspaper and you will see evidence of our society's "depraved mind" splashed throughout. And it's not only an event in the Middle East, India, China or some obscure country in Africa, it's happening right across the street in our own neighborhoods, in our schools, and yes -- even our churches.
If you are in my age group, I'm sure you look back with fondness to our youth when life was far more carefree -- not to mention safe. When I was a boy my parents didn't give it a second thought when during the summer, I would leave with my friends after breakfast on some adventure, not to return until evening. In our present day and age I wouldn't consider letting my daughter walk two blocks to the local market by herself for fear some awful thing might happen to her.
For all the so-called "moral advancements" psychologists and the media claim we have made over the last thirty years -- why do most of us feel less safe? Paul nailed the reason in the first verse of our passage today, "...they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God." In other words, when we allowed our judicial system and legislature to remove God and the Ten Commandments from our courts and classrooms, "He [the Lord] gave them [us and our country] over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done." I think that pretty well sums up our situation today: What ought not to be done is being done -- regularly -- just watch the news.
Questions to Ponder:How much longer will God tolerate our country's sinfulness before He judges us? I don't know, but I do know throughout history God has brought His wrathful judgment down upon many great nations. Why should ours be any different? What can you do about our country's direction? In the Book of Jonah chapter 3, when the King of Nineveh first heard of Jonah's prophesy regarding the Lord's intended destruction of Nineveh, he got down off his thrown, took off his royal robes, put on sackcloth, and decreed, "Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish." I think that's a pretty good example for us to follow as well.