On April 1, 2016, Londoner Matt Armstrong walked out of his home to find his car illegally parked and ticketed.
That’s hardly newsworthy, except that the night before it was legally parked. Between the time he parked his car the night before and the time he exited his house to leave for work, someone had painted a “disabled parking line” around his car.
At first, Matt believed that this was an “April fools” joke. However, he didn’t know that the city council had issued an order to create a disabled parking place in front of his house. A municipal work crew executed the order, despite the fact that his car was still parked in its place. Then a dutiful parking violations cop found Matt’s car illegally parked and ticked it—all within the span of an evening. What was perfectly legal the night before became illegal the next day.
I suspect that many of you know the feeling. Things that were right yesterday are wrong today. We live in a world that constantly redefines what is good and what is evil. Yesterday’s deviant and immoral behavior receives celebration today. On the other hand, our society is rapidly condemning songs, phrases, television commercials, practices, and whatnot, as sexist, offensive, racist, narrow–minded, and bigoted. Phrases like “bring home the bacon” are offensive to vegans. Classic Christmas songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen” are now condemned as sexist.
During my last years in the Army, chaplains began to wonder if they had any future hopes of military ministry. Shifts in Army policy challenged overnight the tenets of their faith—e.g. the sanctity of marriage and the sanctity of life. And it seemed that some overzealous Equal Opportunity representatives and other leaders were hunting down those chaplains and chaplain assistants who were “non-compliant.” Those once viewed as advocates for the moral high-ground were now portrayed as the “bad guys.” An executive order by the President had turned the military into a hostile workplace for all people who espoused traditional and biblical values.
But this is nothing new. In the book of Daniel, there are politicians who had a wicked agenda and created a law that would outlaw all prayers. Daniel the prophet had been offering prayers to God faithfully since his youth. Three times each day he opened his windows toward the distant city of Jerusalem and prayed to God for the restoration of Israel. And when the anti-prayer law became effective, Daniel wasn’t about to allow the latest “moral fad” to disrupt his relationship with God. He stood his ground, believing it was far better to obey God rather than man. It landed him in the lions’ den.
But God shut the lions’ mouths and protected Daniel. In the end, the king had the wicked politicians who tried to destroy Daniel with their unjust law hurled into the lions’ den by the king (Daniel 6:1–28).
God’s justice cannot remain suppressed for long. The wicked will receive punishment and the righteous reward. If not in this life, then recompense will certainly find us in the life to come–when the punishments and rewards will be eternal. “For we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of God” (Romans 14:10).
Don’t build your house on the moral quicksand of our pop culture and ever-changing policies. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
Dear Father in heaven, You called me to serve You and to be faithful unto death. Please remind me that my ultimate Master is in heaven and give me the moral courage to obey You at all times—even when I face punishment for doing so. Amen.