Our world is a complex set of issues involving cause and effect. Unravelling and understanding these is sometimes difficult because the effect dominates. For example, the subject of climate change has become an emotive debate. The effects are there for all to see. Altered weather patterns are observable and are cause for concern. However, the cause has become a political and scientific football, with many and diverse opinions being proposed and/or refuted and argued about.
Also prominent in the news, are the seemingly unending accusations of sexual abuse. Does physical and emotional abuse occur? Certainly — the evidence is all too apparent to deny. Who is addressing the cause? Interestingly, some who are the most vocal, work in industries that have undermined our very core values, which, of course, has led to much of the abuse.
God has told His people to carefully observe the world around us. We are to remove ourselves from the systems of man that perpetuate a way of life that disconnects us from God. To “come out of her My people” is a meaningful command. We must identify what it is that we are to come out of in order to comply. We can easily be caught up in the current of outrage in the surrounding society and fail to look deeper.
God gave to mankind minds with which to think, reason and freely make choices. He set before man two ways of life and told him to choose. From the beginning man chose to reject the way of life that is opened to the human mind when the Spirit of God empowers the thought processes. This means that the choices before most of humanity have been limited to the physical realm across a wide spectrum ranging from good to evil. To the human mind this provides justification for choices which appear to be on the good end of the scale. But all choices are in the physical realm and are not based on input from a spiritual source. Without God’s Spirit the human mind cannot see the spiritual law God has set out to regulate human life. The bad effects we see around us are the results of the wrong choices man has made. As Job once said, “Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:8). The Apostle Paul put it this way, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Through God’s calling, our minds have access to the Spirit of God to guide our thought processes. We can know and understand the law of God. When that law is applied, good results follow. We need to avoid getting caught up in the emotional hub-bub of societal effects and look directly for the real cause, which is almost always the breaking of God’s law. We are to become masters of God’s law, so we can assist Christ in its administration in the future (Isaiah 2:3).
The cause for the many troubling effects which surround us is the transgression of God’s law “They draw near who follow after wickedness; they are far from Your law” (Psalm 119:150). As observers, are we honing our skills in identifying the root causes of the many complex issues created by failing to live by the laws designed to regulate life? God’s law is truth and that is the standard with which we should be measuring cause and effect.