who suppress the truth by their wickedness...
Thoughts for Today:Whether it's "suppressing the truth" (NIV) or "holding it back" (KJV), men do so because of the desire to pursue their own way rather than the Lord's. Think about a helmsman holding a boat's rudder against the current, the flow of the water wants to take it one way but the helmsman is determined to go against it. It's not like man has any excuses -- all of nature testifies as to the existence of the Creator -- man just doesn't want to acknowledge an authority greater than him.
This last week my wife caught my eight year old daughter Amanda munching on some candy. But it wasn't like she was hiding -- what made it perhaps more shocking was her openness -- she was breaking a rule against eating sweets without permission right in front of the rule maker! My wife Sherry, "Amanda! What are you eating?" Amanda, "Candy." Sherry, "Who gave you permission?" (She thought perhaps I had in which case I would be due to receive another lecture on appropriate nutrition.) Amanda, "No one." Sherry, "Since when do you think it's okay to eat candy without permission?" Amanda, "Oh, I don't know. I got it from a friend at school and she gets to eat candy all the time -- so I thought I would have it now." It doesn't take a lot of imagination to figure out where this conversation is going next -- those of you who have children know -- a discussion on the negative influence of others.
Amanda is a wonderful child and she (for the most part) follows our rules, so I wouldn't consider using the word "wicked" from our passage today to describe her behavior. However, she did "suppress the truth". She "kind of knew" what she was doing was wrong (her words), but she wanted the candy anyway. Perhaps the most difficult thing for us all is to do what we know is right regardless of all the reasons we can muster to do what we want.
Questions to Ponder:What is the Lord speaking against to you now? Are you steering against the current? Are you willfully being disobedient to His will? What does the Bible say? Have you been suppressing the truth?