צְדָקָ֥ה תְרֽוֹמֵֽם־גּ֑וֹי וְחֶ֖סֶד לְאֻמִּ֣ים חַטָּֽאת
δικαιοσύνη ὑψοῖ ἔθνος, ἐλασσονοῦσι δὲ φυλὰς ἁμαρτίαι.
Proverbs 14:34. The LXX provides a good translation here. Righteousness lifts up, exalts, a people, a nation. But sin is a reproach to any people, nation. LXX: lessens any people.
[Note the Hebrew form for “reproach” is chesed, which some assume comes from an Aramaic root, hence, shame, but others view as meaning guilt, condemnation, to proclaim guilty.]
Seeing the documented perversion of children in a public setting that appeared yesterday has reminded me once again of basic truths revealed by our Creator.
The United States is experiencing the wrath of God. We have been given over to our enemies, and they now rule over us. That which we assumed and enjoyed without giving thanks to God is being taken away from us, justly. Evil men and women “strut about” because that which is vile is exalted among us (Psalm 12:8). The now publicly exalted sins of homosexuality, transgenderism, child abuse, even bestiality, bring shame to our people. Tribesmen in Africa stare in disbelief at the utter stupidity of “the Americans,” and rightly so. “Professing to be wise, they become fools” is fulfilled every day, and in every way, on Twitter, and from behind the podium at the White House.
Many in the church are fearful of calling out for repentance. The term requires a standard that is binding upon all men, and for many in the church, the idea that God’s law is clear enough to demand repentance for the raft of modern sins we face is beyond their theology of Scripture or law. The long-term impact of evangelical antinomianism has robbed us of a confidence in the clarity of God’s revelation of His will, so we hesitate to call men from their sin to God’s holy standard.
But we must be clear in our proclamation, publicly, individually, in our families: righteousness exalts a nation. How do we define righteousness? What is zedekah? If we listen to the world today, righteousness is defined solely by your feelings. It is purely a human thing, and short-lived autonomous yet accidental humans get to define it as their own. But this is not the righteousness that exalts a nation. That righteousness is a covenantal acceptance of 1) the reality of who God is, that He is creator and sustainer of all things, and 2) our nature as His creatures, under His authority, living in light of His law. This is the only righteousness that brings consistency of law, consistency of morality and ethics and behavior. And when a people together covenant to be obedient to God’s ways, they are lifted up, exalted, blessed.
But when that people turn in wanton rebellion, their sin brings shame, disgrace, and condemnation. They are “lessened” because they are not functioning according to their Maker’s design. From the heights of the recognition of man as the image of God, we have now fallen to the depths of viewing ourselves as “star dust,” “cosmic broccoli,” “wet robots,” with no future, no transcendent meaning.
As we face the coming hardships—economic collapse, hunger, deprivation, loss of liberties and freedoms, subjugation to foreign powers—while we have the freedom and ability to do so, we must clearly communicate to those in the future, each in our own ways and contexts, the reasons for our demise, and the only solution to it. Secularism is rebellion. It is anti-human, destructive, poisonous. It brings only death. We must embrace righteousness as the guiding light in the rebuilding of society in the future. We must bury secularism, it’s demi-God of Darwin, and its incessant sexual rebellion, in the sands of history, and raise above its grave the monument, “Never, ever again.”