And Justice For All (Part 3)

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, February 20, 2016 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

I have shared in prior blog posts about addiction and pornography, and how to face down those addictions. I shared those from first hand experience. If you want to get to the root of it, start with understanding this: the process of making people into objects in order to satisfy our curiosities or desires usually grows from having felt like we were someone else’s ‘object’ of ridicule or pleasure.

For some the trauma is obvious. For others, it could have been simple everyday ridicule that just penetrated our hearts and we let it rewrite our image or worth. Where I was ridiculed, rejected, and objectified by others, I also learned by example. That is the pattern for many who have been trapped by the addiction.

Read Habakkuk 2:15-20. If you have read the last couple weeks’ posts, you know we are in the middle of God’s woes (or warnings) to Habakkuk/Israel. These warnings are about drunkenness, voyeuristic (almost date rape) pornographic self-satisfaction, violence toward animals, violence toward people, and idolatry.

If you pause and think about what each of these involve, there are many common elements: control, power, self gratification, and celebrating or worshipping our own creations or accomplishments. The other thing they all share in common is that they destroy society. They turn people, animals, and gods into objects to be controlled and used for another person’s gain. This is somewhat of an extension of the previous woes, but far more personally destructive and deadly.

We don’t have to look very deeply into our culture to see the destructive nature of these same behaviors today. Idolatry may not look the same in regard to statues, but the are still many idols that people worship (money, sports, achievement, status) and would even kill over. So, we should be able to understand the warnings God is giving here.

However, this warning is more than just a “don’t do that” kind of warning. God finishes this segment by saying, “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” That word “silent” can be translated from the original Hebrew as “be still” or “stop it!”

That phrase “let all the earth be silent” is also repeated elsewhere in the Bible. In Zephaniah 1:7, it’s used as a command to stop and pay attention because the day of the Lord is near, a day of sacrifice for the faithful and judgement for the wicked. In Zachariah 2:13, it’s a command to be still because God has been stirred up to judge. So, if we apply that in the same way here, we hear God saying, “Stop it! I am about to judge you for your selfish and evil behaviors.”

There is hope in that statement. Hope that God would in fact step in and stop the downward spiral of drunkenness, pornography, violence, and idolatry of any kind. There is also hope because He gives the warning in a way that seems to suggest we also have a choice to stop it.

As long as we see other people as a means to our success or satisfaction, we perpetuate injustice, we deny God, and we put ourselves in place of Him. That level of power, control, and manipulation only leads to our downfall, individually and as a society. The objectifying of people is like a virus, and it easily spreads through those who are made objects, and through children who learn to follow their parent’s or friends’ examples. (As an aside: moms and dads, your kids do watch how you look at people, and they will learn your lust or bigotry, even before they understand what it is.)

To pull this together in one phrase: when man wants to be God, destruction follows; when man is obedient to God, blessing follows. So, the challenge is, “Stop it!” The hope is, “Stop it!” The promise is that God will heal where we have been broken, and where we have been trapped in addiction. He will also support us in undoing the damage, or judge us for perpetuating it. The choice is ours.

Will you love your idols or accomplishments instead of God, or love God for the life He’s given you? Will you love yourself by using your neighbor, or love your neighbor instead of yourself?

How you answer those questions will determine whether you are listening to the warnings and the hope God shared with Habakkuk, in his pursuit of justice.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.