The assessment was grim. God was angry (Romans 1:18-32). The signs flooded the culture that people had gone terribly off course. They had done so before, and the Lord had dealt with them with a flood of His own. The expressions of His wrath are devastating. In the case of the Romans, it had been to take a hands-off approach. They had made their choice, and it did not include Him. So, He let them go in their own direction. That never works out well. Ask the prodigal son.
Evidence surrounded them. As far as the eye could see, there was proof that an invisible one existed but they chose to ignore it. They began to disregard the God that they knew. Such an attitude will soon seep into a lifestyle whose roots run deeper than the actions that it prompts. It is a relational problem with the almighty Lord Who created us. Dismissing Him as irrelevant brings with it a high cost. Is our land listening?
Among the early symptoms is a lack of gratitude (Romans 1:21). Human speculation carries more weight than divine revelation and thinking gets distorted. Instead of beginning the thought process with the eternal God, people start with themselves. The creation is honored above the Creator. Values get turned upside down. The giving of thanks goes out the window. Hearts are infected with irresistible wickedness. Lies replace truth, and everyone suffers.
In the last letter that Paul wrote, he warned Timothy of the days to come (2 Timothy 3:1-5). It is not a pleasant description and, unfortunately, sounds a great deal like 2019 America. The character of the culture is one of self-absorption. They love and serve themselves. Relationships are wrecked. They pay lip service to religion, but it is meaningless. In the midst of the long list of ugly traits is “ungrateful.” It is certain that something has gone very wrong when we fail to recognize all that God does for us every day.
We live in an age of overcrowded schedules when it is easy to take the daily provisions of the Lord for granted. We cram eight days of living into a week and wonder why we’re so stressed and exhausted. Even Thanksgiving plans fill our hours with so much to do that we have very little time left for giving thanks. We cook, eat, clean and crash as thoughts of gratitude fade. Busy, busy, busy. Surely, it is one of Satan’s greatest ploys. One day has been set aside to pause and say thank you to our great Provider. It is a single 24-hour period in which our nation is encouraged to recognize all that God does for us. It is a practice that Christians should exercise every day of the year. He not only takes care of our daily bread but also our eternal souls, and for that we always give Him thanks.