“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyesî (Judges 21:25). ìLet all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
You and I both have heard countless summations, questions, and explanations as to the trend toward violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and other deviant behaviors that tend to be so prevalent in our society. Frankly, I have not heard much, if anything, coming out of the secular press that approaches the truth regarding the social ills that exist today.
We live in a world today where every absolute is questioned at one time or the other regardless of whether it is the law of the land or the law of God. We are entering into the time of lawlessness as spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:7: “For the mystery of [lawlessness or rebellion] doth already work.” Paul, in speaking of this day, declared “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves” (2 Timothy 3:2).
The Declaration of Independence declares, “All government is by the consent of the governed.” Laws are given to structure, protect, and define the order of any society. When laws are ignored or questioned in favor of the needs of the moment, the long-term consequences in a society can be horrendous. An orderly people must continuously determine to remain orderly. Largely, it does so by voluntarily compliance with the established system of laws that govern that society. When a society ceases to be in voluntary compliance to its established rules of conduct, that people is approaching anarchy, bringing about its own self-destruction. This principle applies whether it is in the home, church, or community.
Among others, there are two specific means/motivations behind the violation of law:
- There is the belief that expediency gives one the right to set aside established law in favor of the desires, whims, and/or demands of the moment. Obviously, such a viewpoint if generally practiced, can do nothing but destroy. When one appeals to expediency, he is functioning with the belief that his emergency or desires place him beyond or above the law.
- The practice of using the law to violate the intent of law. Clever people can always find a way to violate the intent or any defined principle of any law by their use of legal machinations. It seems to me that the further one gets in unraveling the skein of legalese, the more complicated things become and the less sure the structure of society is. Paul warned us of getting away from simplicity that is in Christ. The same principle applies in every walk of life. We should adhere to the KISS principle: “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”
God has made provision for the peaceful and effective conduct by both kingdoms: the kingdoms of this earth and the Kingdom of God.
In so doing He has given us laws that are inviolable to the conducting, behavior, and welfare in/of both kingdoms.
- He gave us divine principles that are essential to both the understanding of law and the conduct of it.
- He gave us exhortations as to the application and use of those principles.
- His teaching expands our understanding and commitment to His principles.
- He gave us illustrations to firmly entrench our understanding and commitment.
It would benefit every society, community, church or home to look once again to the Word of God and to re-affirm its power, purpose, and order of that institution. In so doing, our children as well as we, as adults, will find clarity and purpose for our behavior and conduct, and consequently, many of our societal ills will be healed.