“He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he hath set judgement in the earth; and the isles shall wait for his law.” (Isa. 42:4). The prophet in this passage and those surrounding it present as he often did the coming of the Messiah and His great work of establishing His Kingdom making possible salvation for all. Regardless of the obstacles and hindrances, He overcame. As the Victor, He pleased the Father in all things. In this verse Isaiah assures that He would NOT be ”discouraged,” (Marg. “broken”), meaning He would not be separated from His purpose. Heaven knows that the Lord had ample reasons to be dissuaded from the purpose God had laid upon Him, but give up, slacken, allow His spirit to be broken was out of the question. However, it must be admitted that He was Divine and work as we may to be like Him and possess His spirit, it often becomes a fleeting thing.
Of all people some of the more difficult to deal with are those who exhibit in their life vast emotional variations. One day they have their heads in the clouds enjoying life to the fullest, the next day they tread through the valley of despair. Personally, I have tried to be balanced, realizing that “this too shall pass.” This is not to say that I always have this spirit, but I recognize this to be a sign of maturity and a level that should be striven to accomplish. Terrible blows will come and wonderful blessings (as we view them), will be ours. The joy and the tears must not be stressed overmuch.
Lastly, I must confess the truth—I have become discouraged. This is not something that will be gone when I awake tomorrow—it is a continuing and growing discouragement. In times past when I have felt discouragement coming upon me, instead of talking to others about it (which does little good), I have buried myself in my studies or I get out and visit those whose problems seem to be far greater than my own. Listening to such people sometimes builds me up and rekindles hope for me. But, of late, these things have not worked. The discouragement abides day after day. My discouragement is not just one thing, nor, is it found in only one area. I suppose that to be one reason (if not the only reason); it is so difficult for me to grapple with it. Trying to rise above the discouragement often leaves me with hollow feelings. Continually it is before my face, with little if any improvement. Solitude does not drive it away. So, this time, I have decided to share it—to talk about it. I shall name several things that are taking place about us—things that all of you are aware—things that would have shocked us a short decade ago—things that the common person (especially members of the church), are helpless to do anything about—things that often defy common sense—things that show lack of judgement by those advocating and promoting them. As you read these words, you may wish to share your thoughts regarding these, because it is possible that I am not looking at the situation correctly. You words may give me “a lift.”
IN THE NATION
What may have feared for years is now bearing fruit in our country. Morals in various important matters are not only being lowered, they have vanished. Abortion a sweet name for murdering unborn children is sanctioned by our lawmakers. In the name of Planned Parenthood, promiscuous women seek ways of elevating the responsibility of rearing children. One must wonder how long until some will desire to have Planned Neighborhoods by killing undesirables or as Hitler did because they are of a certain race, ethnic or religious group. Where would we be today if Mary had sought to abort the birth of Jesus? “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her…then thou shalt give life for life.” (Ex. 21:22-23). Homosexual Marriages corrupt the very nature of men and women. It is shameful that the President of the United States has and does advocate this practice. It is despicable that the Supreme Court steps out of its purpose as established by the framers of the Constitution to make laws against the wishes of the people at large. What is going to happen when some one who loves their puppy dog contends that he should have the right to be joined in marriage to it? Far-fetched? I doubt it. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which is not meet. And even they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave then over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Rom. 1:26-28). Disrespecting Authority is rampant. Police Officers are attacked in open daylight, bands of thugs run the streets destroying property and vandalizing. Community leaders make excuses for their behavior trying to make others responsible for such actions. Even the President rushes to judgment before all the facts are in. Wrongdoing does not become right because another has been wronged and numbers do not justify unlawful actions. “Might does not make right” is more than and aged saying. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” (Rom. 13:1-2).
IN PUBLIC LIFE
Language. Profanity is not entirely unexpected among the uneducated and those of low morals, but to hear it from those who are set up as examples to the young and old is depressing. When newscasters and talk show hosts go out of their way to use words and expressions that are either out right “blackguard” or filled with innuendo’s is appalling. How far we have traveled since Rhett Butler’s use of a single word in Gone with the wind shocked the nation. Now there are in some instances more words bleeped out than there are others in a sentence. One wonders how long it will be until the bleeper is removed? One thing for sure: parents must be more vigilant than ever in this regard. How shocked would be the Apostle were he living today as back then he wrote, “but now ye put off all these…filthy communication out of your mouth.” (Col. 3:8). Drugs and Alcohol. The use of Heroin is up 150%, in women alone 100%. Addicts have lost their families, jobs, and control of themselves. Babies are born addicts because their mothers are on drugs. The very souls of people are lost because of drugs. Yet, there are campaigns to legalize the use of Marijuana. Alcohol is a drug, alcohol is addictive. More than likely it has destroyed more marriages, caused the abuse of children and taken the lives of people more than any other drug. Yet, liquor stores are abundant, as well, as it being available in almost every grocery store, every gas station and every family restaurant. Imbibing is the “cool” thing to do. Hollywood parades it as an example of the “good life.” However, one bad thing (law), is not justification for making another bad thing legal. Are we going to be confronted with multitudes driving under the influence of Marijuana? “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these…drunkenness…of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:19-21). Lying has always been fund in people, but to do so publicly and brag about it as practiced today while knowing that there will be an accounting is a new thing under the sun. Presidents have lied about involvement in criminal activities, about having affairs outside of marriage until we take everything said with a “grain of salt.” “Lie not one to another.” (Col. 3:9).
It could be that communication is so much better, or it may be due to the population explosion, but it seems to me that there has never been a time in the history of the world when there is so much corruption and breakdown of the family. Not only has it been corrupted by the sins already mentioned, but also hundreds of children are born out of wedlock every week. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb. 13:8). Men have fathered children by several wives and take no responsibility for their action. Children grow up without a father in the home. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 4:6). Welfare roles bulge, as the government must provide food, clothing and shelter for these children. School food programs must provide breakfast, lunch and send food home for evenings and weekends. Children grow up with a mentality that this is the proper way to live and the cycle repeats itself from generation to generation. Hard work is often looked upon with a smirk. Why should one work if he can live off the hark work of others with the necessities of life provided even to medical insurance? “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (II Thes. 3:10).
For far too many years Evolution has held court in our schools, the fruit of which is clearly seen in the children of the age. Convince one that he came from a brute and it is not long until he is acting like his ancestors. Evolution is not-—S NOT a science—it is a theory—MERELY A THEORY. Yet, it is taught as a biological science. In addition, it is one of the most fearful of all theories. It cannot allow itself to be challenged; knowing it will crumble in all its way under the microscope of inspection. Creation has in every age when compared to Evolution attained victory. Who can disprove the ancient language of the Scripture? “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:1 & 27). If you have the opportunity to stroll down the hallways of any high school before morning classes begin, observe the attire of the students, listen to the language, gasp at the behavior. I assure you it will turn your stomach. Take note of the discipline that is lacking in ordinary things. I am confident that any normal person will be appalled at the scene. While we take for granted that all things are well, your dander will surely rise, the vessels in back of your neck will swell and you heart will pulsate at the goings on. The words of the Apostle come to mind, “when they shall say, Peace and safety: then sudden destruction cometh upon them.” (I Thes. 5:3). We are told and common sense demands that we acknowledge, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” I fear for our children in the permissive environment they are growing up in—not only for their physical safety, but their moral well being and spiritual attainments as well. Convince one he is an animal and he will treat his fellows like an animal and behave like an animal himself.
WHILE I AM DISCOURAGED I DO NOT DESPAIR AND I AM NOT DEFEATED
We all must double our resolve to learn the Lord’s will, redouble our efforts to teach others and live by His written law (the Gospel). This is not a time to sit and do nothing or worse yet to wave the white flag in defeat. We may be “troubled on every side, yet (we are) not distressed; (although) we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forgiven; cast down, but not destroyed.” (II Cor. 4:8-9). Satan and evil may bring the shadows to surround us, worldlings may laugh us to scorn, but in the end, victory will belong to the children of the Just One. Discouraged—yes. Giving over to despair—no. Perhaps you and I together can make the world a better place by converting one person at a time to the Scripture as we “open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive the forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 26:18).
Barney Owens 1508
Disclaimer: it is my wish that the scriptures used regarding the behavior of those considered in this article will be effective. However, experience teaches otherwise. I can hope that others will be able to see the evils portrayed and God’s will regarding them. And, there is always the fond hope of encouraging and uplifting every Christian and moralist reading these lines. Love to all. BO.
A young man who had never before seen the ocean gazed with amazement. One standing by asked his thoughts. “I am thinking, how nice it is to see enough of something.