A severe financial crisis was upon them, a heatwave had hit and a serial killer was on the loose. This was 43 years ago (the year of my birth) when New York City suffered a 24-hour blackout. Chaos ensued: 31 neighbourhoods experienced looting and vandalism, 25 fires were started and continued into the morning, 550 officers were injured and 4500 looters were arrested. It was like a match had ignited a tidal wave of sin.
So, how does this relate to us? A favourite verse of mine is God’s first admonishments “sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must overcome it” (Genesis 4:7). Of course, we know what Cain did to his brother right after this statement and should serve as an even greater lesson about listening to the Lord’s warnings. Today’s verses all deal with the devastation of sin crouching at the door. In Romans 1, Paul outlines the folly to those who neither glorified nor gave thanks to God. Thinking they were wise, they exchanged God’s glory for images of his creation. They became “filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.” (Romans 1: 29-31)
Digging into our 2 Kings literature today, we also see the devastation of sin. Zedekiah is noted elsewhere in Jeremiah and 2 Chronicles as being too permissive of sin, and the outcome was famine and death for his people.
Sin is crouching at your door. I do not doubt that if poisonous snakes and spiders, or a terrific storm, or a blackout with looters were ‘crouching at your door,’ you would ensure you were properly prepared for defence. Today’s Psalmist gives us a hint of the promise of Ephesians 6 and the armour of God that is available to us as believers. Let us dwell with God, equip ourselves with his armour, and live a life of purpose in and for him.
Husband, father, social worker, man of God