Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The earth has been given over to the wicked: Job 9:24

Job does not see the world as a paradise; a place where order, harmony, and justice dwell supreme. Instead, in Job's eyes, he sees a world where wickedness triumphs over righteousness and where justice is discarded by indifference. Job says, "The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, then who is it?" (Job 9:24) Job asks a very poignant question, "if not God, then who?"

Man was originally given authority over the earth while he was still in the garden of Eden. But when man sinned, he fell under Satan's domain and became subject to his authority. Man opened the door and provided a foot hold for Satan to spread his influence across the whole earth. In that day, man and the earth, passed into the hands of the Devil. John reminds us, "We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." (1 John 5:19) The delivering of the world into the hands of the wicked was the result of man's doing; the result of his sins. It was never part of God's plan or design for this world, nor for mankind.

Peter says that we have "escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust" (2 Peter 1:4) The corruption he is talking about is that of a dead body rotting away. The world, and the things in it, are rotting away. Corruption has entered the world because of man's sin and it is now decaying as any dead thing would. Part of the Gospel is that Jesus came to deliver us from this decay and to translate us from the dominion of Satan into His dominion. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. Jesus, in praying to the Father, said, "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." (John 17:14-16)

The truth is that the world is decaying and those in the world are under the authority of the Devil. This was not God's doing, but man's. But through Jesus Christ, we can escape this corruption and, as citizens of God's kingdom, find life, peace, and joy in His kingdom. We are in the world, and at times are afflicted by the suffering of this world, but we are not of the world. We are as sojourner in a foreign land and, one day, Jesus Himself will return to take us home. Thanks be to God...

David Robison

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