If humanity as a whole has become adept at one thing, it must be the judgement and condemnation of one another. I believe this to be true in all circles, and sadly, perhaps it is most true among Christians. We condemn one another publicly and privately, we question someone's ability to be a Christian if they are homosexual, or if they have tattoos, or if we catch them in a lie. We condemn those that smoke tobacco or weed (which was burn on Jewish alters before God), or drink alcohol (Christ is know to have imbibed), or a myriad of other offenses. We are so concerned with what a Christian should not do, that we are losing focus on what Christians should be doing.
In Psalm 73, the psalmist tell us that he had been behaving like a "brute beast" before the Lord. What does this mean exactly? To be savage, uncontrollable, lacking intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion, this is a brute beast and describes the unrepentant sinner perfectly. Not to say that the unbeliever is unintelligent, but rather ignorant of that which would benefit them the most. They are not completely without sensitivity or compassion, but their sensitivity is limited to that which they deem worthy of their compassion. They are not out of control, but refuse to yield control of their lives to a cause greater than themselves and their own desires. Psalm 73 looks at the relationship that an unbeliever might have with the Lord, and juxtaposes it against that of the believer.
We all suffer from the same condition, we are all human. This means that we experience overwhelming emotion sometimes, and it may cause us to lose control of ourselves. We may act irrationally, erratically, or even dangerously. We may insult one another and betray our most trusted friends. Once we have sinned in this way, what should we do? If we repeatedly with the same sin, what do we do?
Since the beginning of our existence, mankind has fought continuously over natural resources. Water, fertile soil, forests, oil, gold, and a great deal of other items have been the centerpiece of death and destruction as greed has driven various cultures at different time periods to attempt to control access to these things. With all of that violence we may have forgotten an important fact, we don’t actually own anything. We can’t own anything. All the world belongs to God, including humanity. If we belong to God, and the world belongs to God, then how can we own anything?
On my journey with Christ, there have been quite a few things I have given up, and frankly, there have been times when I miss those things. While we should not be envious of one another, sometimes it is difficult to see a world that can be so unrepentantly carefree. The temptations of the flesh do effect us all equally, after all. However, Psalm 37 addresses these feelings, and in the process it challenges what is considered to be the traditional Christian view of Hell. Is there any reason that we should envy those who will be rewarded with destruction?
What is our conscience? We all understand how to express what a conscience is; it is a sort of inner voice that we use to determine what is good or bad, but what is it really? While that is a question science struggles to answer, one theory is that it is the emotional response created when we think about our future/past actions. This allows us to reflect on the consequences of our previous actions in order to determine whether our future actions are good or bad. But there is another inner voice, one which contests the verdict of our conscience. A voice with only our self interests at heart.
Humanity lives on a 196 million square foot rock that is hurtling through space at 67,000 miles per hour inside of a galaxy that is 100,000 light years long, among a pool of roughly 200 billion galaxies. Humanity is either the epitome of insignificance, or blessed beyond imagination by a loving Creator. The mere fact that we have been able to not only exist, but flourish, should be an indication of the latter. Psalm 8 really draws our attention to both or insignificance, and our blessings.
There are only two paths in life, the path of righteousness and the path of wickedness. As we make our way through this perilous journey of life, we come to realize that there are certain things which are always wrong, and certain things which are always right. The distinction becomes objective, and we are made aware that there are two, very real, opposing aspects of this world, good and evil. Two paths on the same journey. We cannot be on both paths, it is an objective impossibility to do so, and so we must choose our path, the path of the righteous or the path of the wicked.
We all know the story of Adam and Eve. If you have spent any amount of in Sunday school, you were no doubt exposed to the story of the first two people on the planet. Set in paradise, with one simple rule to leave the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil alone. Unfortunately, Eve is deceived into betraying the single rule God has put in place and commits the first sin. But what do we really know about the Tree of Know of Good and Evil? What was its purpose? How exactly did it effect Adam and Eve? We know that it made them ashamed, but what can we derive from that?
Critics of Christianity often seem to pose the question; If God is all-knowing, why doesn't He share all of His knowledge with us? I believe this to be a fair question. It does seem, initially, to be rather misguided to purposefully withhold information that could drastically improve our lives, especially considering that God would likely have the ability to create us in such a way that all knowledge is already known to us. So I thought I would take a close look at this subject and see what conclusions I can come to.