Our society is in trouble, and everyone knows it. We are surrounded by people who abuse the welfare system. The Bible suggests a reasonable punishment for these folks:
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
The root of this problem is a total disregard for Biblical principles. Let me show you:
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
We have been raised in a culture that is always looking out for number one. We begin learning our own self-importance from our loving parents and teachers who are merely trying to build self-esteem, and it just continues through life: My school is the best because I go there. My team is the best because I’m on it. My church is the best. My friends are the best. My town is the best, ad nauseum.
We have been nurtured with a world-view of entitlement: I deserve to be wealthy; I deserve respect; I deserve to own the things I want; I deserve some time off. Credit card companies and businesses of every kind are seriously guilty for promoting this kind of thinking and behavior. The pervasiveness of the materialistic world that surrounds us is largely to blame for this constant barrage of input that stimulates the “me” mentality.
From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Fact 2: The poor envy the rich.
I think we make the mistake of thinking that everyone on this earth should be equally successful. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 not to envy the rich because they have their (earthly) reward. Just because someone else has something doesn’t mean that every person on earth deserves it.
20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.
23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Fact 3: When it comes down to it, we don’t deserve anything at all.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
Fact 4: We have no right to question God.
Who are we to question God and His providence? We don’t know what’s best for us – we merely think we do. We get ourselves into scrapes all the time because we rebel against God.
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
We know ourselves to fall short of God’s standards countless times, and many of these times we directly defy Him (Any time we sin on purpose, we assert our knowledge of what is best for us over God’s knowledge. We say, “no, I know better than You.”) Ephesians 2:8-9 We can never earn salvation, we don’t deserve it.
Fact 5: Everything we have is God’s.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Everything you have had, have now, or ever will have is a gift from God’s hand to yours. Everything good you own is like God saying, “I love you; I want to give this to you today.” But when He removes something from our lives, it is also because He loves us.
Fact 6: We prove our trust in Him through obedience to His Word.
We have to trust Him enough to believe He loves us and acts in our best interest; our actions should reflect those beliefs. Anything short of obedience shows that we do not trust Him with our lives.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
When things go wrong, when we lose things, when we can’t catch a break, remember that we are not on this earth to self-worship or seek our own good.
Fact 7: We serve a God who loves us in spite of our shortcomings.
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
He was willing to become a human being and share our plight, taking our punishment for sin upon His own flesh. This is how much He values us.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Humans may not deserve God’s love, but He loves us unconditionally. We are who He thinks we are – precious souls in need of a Savior. We were redeemed (bought) by the very blood of Christ, so even though we don’t deserve redemption, we are far more valuable than any price could ever tell.
Our goal is to become totally dependent on Him, trusting Him for everything. Each breath, each penny, each door that opens and closes in our lives. The book of Job will help us get there.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves when we are in poor health, jobless, and betrayed, we need to offer up a sacrifice of praise.
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
II Samuel 24:24.
And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
We need to remember that He is in control, even when things seem dire (think of the crucifixion – God was using Satan’s own plan against him).
I Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Trust, have faith, take action, obey His commandments, knowing that He only wants what is best for us, and that all things work together for our good.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
And we can rest easy, knowing that He will take care of us through every situation.