Dissipation Leads to Apathy

Zephaniah 1:12 (MEV): At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are settled on their lees, who say in their heart “The Lord will not do good, nor will He do evil.”

— Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

This is the prophet Zephaniah speaking to Judah. He is speaking of things to happen in the future because of Judah‘s worship of other gods. Like all prophecy don’t think single prediction. We are given the pattern for the sign. There is a practice drill for the sign first. It is likely to come in the short-term future. While the ultimate complete sign will come in full time.

Judah is ruled by King Josiah. He brought many reforms and God recognized his tender heart toward the things of God. The setting is before the invasion from Babylon. God spoke that it was sure to happen but was to be forestalled until Josiah was gathered to his fathers.

I give the background for context. But I want to look at something specific. The important phrase is “the men who are settled on their lees.” It is better translated as men who have their senses dulled by alcohol. It is written to show that despite all of God’s warnings of impending doom, there are those who won’t and don’t believe that He will do anything at all. Things will just continue to go as they are.

We know from elsewhere in the Old Testament that Jerusalem was indeed invaded, God did exactly what He said. This is despite the apathy and dissipation brought on by booze. The drink addled their intellect. All transgression does that. We read clearly in Romans 1 that it suppresses the knowledge of God.

So what?

Well, here’s an application.

Consider the US and how far we’ve drifted from a true morality in the last many decades. We’ve had a bit of respite with a king that is attempting to make reforms. Yet there is a pervasive pall over the land and the world for that matter. Will God move at all?

I’m not saying the US is in this prophecy, nor is it meant for us. But there are many who have grown dull of thinking clearly. And it’s not limited to our leaders. It’s done by imbibing regularly in the decadence of the culture.

Such things work to suppress the knowledge of God. We take the trinkets of the culture including real intoxicants like booze and drugs, among other things. These lead some to think God isn’t going to do anything by taking the right edges off of reality.. He’s not sent judgment for our foibles whether personal or national. In other words, God becomes impotent.

That pall of apathy still pervades. It’s so bad it has even entered into local churches. It is a challenge to find teaching on the signs of the times. And there are those. They are not signs as in prophecy being fulfilled. They are on the horizon before us casting their shadows that can be seen. They herald something foreboding much like the wail of a klaxon.

Time is short.

Some of us hear. Don’t let the dainties and delicacies of the culture catch you off-guard. The President can’t save you from the time to come. Neither will the right Supreme Court justice do it. These tend to be just distractions.

Don’t get me wrong. These things can be avenues of reform and even revival. They may even provide a small time of respite. We ought to be working toward that. But sharpen the witness, be ready to speak of the love of God even as His tender mercies were offered to Josiah.

One only gets so many trips around the sun, and then there is a day of reckoning. Don’t be apathetic. God might not move in the way you want Him to do. But He is working.

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed swiftly, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil.

Since one who sins may do evil a hundred times and extend his life, I also have experienced that it will be good for those who fear God when they have reverence before Him. But it will not be well for the wicked, and he will not prolong his days, like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.

Ecclesiastes 8:11–13 — Modern English Version (Thinline Edition.; Lake Mary, FL: Passio, 2014)

The shortness of the hour is glaringly apparent. He loves you and is patiently waiting for you. Buy your time is limited. Use it wisely. (If you want to know how to use it wisely, DM me.)

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