Thursday, April 23, 2009

Give Attention to the Truth

I'm teaching through Daniel in our weekly Bible hour at church. It is interesting to see the difference in perspective on truth between the righteous and the unrighteous. What we see in our day is no different than what we find in Daniel.

The ungodly have no regard for truth, in fact they say there is no absolute truth. This of course is what they choose to believe, because to believe that there is absolute truth is to admit there is a standard by which we must live. And it is clear to anyone who can add 2+2=4, that the statement "there is no absolute truth" is in fact an absolute statement. Nevertheless the ungodly are not bothered by such folly.

In Daniel 8 the little horn, better known as Antiochus Epiphanies, is prophesied to be one who will "fling truth to the ground" (8:12). He is shown to be one who has no regard for truth, and in fact he didn't. He burned the Scriptures and sought to kill anyone who possessed copies of the Scriptures. He hated the truth. He desecrated the temple in Jerusalem, built an idol of Zeus in the temple area, and offered swine upon the altar to his pagan deities.

Do we not see similar treatment of that which is true and sacred in our time? Bibles are not being burned in our country yet, but the truths of the Bible are certainly under attack. Marriage, a very sacred and God-ordained institution is under fierce attack in our day. A Miss America contestant is ostricized, because she doesn't accept homosexual marriage. Faith groups are said to be increasingly losing "gay rights" fights in the courts. And pagans like Tony Blair are now saying their spiritual leaders (his being the Pope) are wrong about homosexuality.

Is truth not being flung to the ground in our day? Truth is being abandoned for the sake of tolerance and diversity. Even the name of Jesus is something that is not to be spoken of in our day. Jesus, the precious name of Jesus, was recently covered by the President of the United States before he stood to give a policy speech in our nation's capital.

Such abominations run rampant in our day yet many seem to overlook them as isolated events. The wicked may treat the truth with such contempt, but the righteous are to be different! In the very next chapter of Daniel (ch. 9) he prays,

"As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice" (9:13-14).

Daniel here was of course speaking of the 70 years of Babylonian Captivity. Israel even in captivity did not repent and give attention to the truth, therefore they experienced God's judgment and calamity.

May we not expect calamity as well? How do we today view truth? We are not to give up in the battle for truth. The abominations taking place today are opening the hand of God that is filled with fury, judgment, and ultimately calamity for those who reject His truth. He who does not give attention to the truth will be overtaken by calamity.