In the midst of his discussion about the meaning of life, Solomon makes an incredible and timeless statement, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12).
It is astounding just how well this pegs our world today. What Solomon is saying is when we take God out of the discussion, who can honestly say what is truly good or bad in this life? Literally everything becomes one person’s word against the other’s. This describes the postmodern mindset to a tee. If God isn’t the authority, then whatever a person thinks is right becomes right for them and no one has grounds to argue. This is why our culture is so big on “not judging” each other. Without God, there is no ultimate authority to judge something as wrong. Literally everything is subjective and, as Solomon concludes, “futile.”
Throughout time, cultures have given into this exact same line of thinking. They rejected God as the authority and determined what was right in their own eyes. In today’s culture, the idea of “everyone’s right” is extremely attractive. It’s even been given the warm fuzzy label of “tolerance.” However, we are walking in the exact same shoes of those who came before us. And that’s a scary thought. Notice a few examples.
- The People of the Judges. Again and again, the people found themselves being punished and oppressed because of their sin during this time. The reason they were in this position in the first place is because of their sinful mindset. Judges 17:6 spells out the problem clearly, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” Just as Solomon was pointing out, when God is taken out of the picture, everyone just does whatever they think is right. This is a major problem.
- The People of Jeremiah. The early chapters in Jeremiah give us a very sobering reality about the people in this time. Listen to God’s description of them, “‘Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush. Therefore, they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 6:15). The people’s mindset was so twisted towards sin that they were no longer even embarrassed by the blatantly evil things. Sinful actions that should have made them blush with embarrassment no longer phased them. Why? Because there was no authority and no way to say their actions were right or wrong. With God out of the picture, there is no guide.
- The People of Genesis. This wasn’t exactly an age of high moral excellence. Genesis 6:5 details just how bad things had become, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Did we catch it? Literally every single intent and thought was completely and totally focused on evil all the time. Can you imagine just walking down the street and seeing the evil eyes of every person plotting how they can use and abuse you? And yet this is exactly what can happen when people continue to reject God. No one can say what is good or bad for mankind, therefore, they do whatever they want. The cause? Solid, constant, undeterred evil. The result? God flooded the entire earth.
We are living in an age where people are doing what is right in their own eyes and starting to forget how to blush. I hope we never see the point where “every intent of people’s hearts are only evil continually.” Certainly God would not delay the Judgment Day much beyond this point and destroy the earth (2 Peter 3:10).
How does a culture reach a point to where it supports homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, drugs, allowing transgender to do as they please, etc, etc, etc? This can only happen when God is rejected as the authority. God makes it extremely clear what is right and wrong in this life (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We absolutely must get back to God’s Word and fix the blemishes we see in this spiritual mirror (James 1:22-26). Let’s pray for the courage to stand for truth, the strength to withstand resistance, and the endurance to make it to heaven and bring others with us (Revelation 2:10).