Genesis 6:5-8 When the LORD saw how wicked everyone on earth was and how evil their thoughts were all the time, he was sorry that he had ever made them and put them on the earth. He was so filled with regret that he said, “I will wipe out these people I have created, and also the animals and the birds, because I am sorry that I made any of them.”But the LORD was pleased with Noah. GNB
Genesis 6:11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. ESV
When I woke up one morning with these verses on my mind, I first thought about what kind of meme I could make for a Twitter post. Then I decided it would be good material for this blog. But as I turned those thoughts over, I realized they were a prayer prompt more than anything else. So maybe what you read here can also be a focus for your prayer time.
As I listen to the news, one thing that stands out to me is the increasing frequency of violent crimes. And that’s saying a lot, among all the other items that clamor for our attention. It is more than the relatively rare school shootings. It is more than the growing mass murders in public places. The daily one-on-one attacks often result in someone’s death, but not always. – a domestic dispute, out-of-control anger, gang-related violence, premeditated revenge-fueled outbursts, a vicious mugging, or store robbery. Sometimes the perpetrator says it was “just for fun.”
I won’t bore you with the statistics. You can look that up for yourself. The incidents are most often reported as local news if they are reported at all. Unless it serves an agenda, it may not make the nightly news. Not all, but the majority of offenders and victims are young black men, and mamas are crying for their sons all over our country.
Gun violence gets all the press, but people use any means possible to inflict harm on their fellow human beings. Some methods may not be as efficient as others, but knives, machetes, crowbars, shovels, and bare hands kill just as dead. Even if the victim recovers from an attack, they may suffer many other devastating consequences.
And we ask, “How long, O Lord?”
Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you? NKJV
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? NKJV
Matthew 24:12-14 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Blame the weapons. Blame the court’s bond and early release programs. Blame the breakdown of the family. Blame the removal of prayer and Bible reading from schools. Blame systemic racism. Blame deadbeat dads and single moms. Blame an inadequate mental health system. Blame ungodly video games. Blame the economy. Blame failed government programs and crime policies. Blame Defund the Police. Blame the immigration system. Blame a culture of death. Blame inculcated values of greed, envy, and entitlement. Blame the mindset where retaliation and violence is both acceptable and expected. Blame incompetent school systems. Blame the churches for falling down on the job. Blame us all for falling asleep. It’s a perfect storm.
From the scriptures, I must conclude that at the core, this is a matter of unregenerate hearts. Sin crouches at the door of every facet of the problem. But why are we surprised?
From Genesis to the Psalms and prophets, from the words of Jesus through Revelation, it’s the same story of human failure repeated. As we await a great redemption, we are losing a generation of young people to this world and the next.
And you and I are not immune to all this. Anyone else could find themselves caught up in one of these scenarios, going from bystander to victim in a literal heartbeat. The subway riders, the grocery shoppers, the church attendee, the moviegoer, the person stopped at a red light, the single pedestrian, and the child watching television in his own living room. May God have mercy.
Finally, this is a serious spiritual issue. I pray that this evil will not stand but will be cast down in the mighty Name of the Messiah Jesus/Yeshua, Son of God. However, I’m afraid we may not see things get better until the Kingdom comes.
Won’t you pray this with me?
May the Lord abundantly bless those adults who invest their time and witness into the lives of children and youth. May He guide and protect our law enforcement officers and others whose jobs put them in harm’s way. But most of all, may He pour out His Spirit on young and old alike. I pray for revival, a new Jesus Movement, and new Great Awakening. I pray for transformed hearts, homes, and lives. He is our only hope. He is our salvation.
It’s time we wake up and get to work. I heard a preacher say, “May the dead in Christ be raised from the pews.” We have Life to offer! At a minimum, we must pray.
What might the Lord be calling you to do?
PS: Ruth Graham to her husband: “Billy, if God doesn’t come soon and bring judgment upon the United States, He’s going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah!”