Do thou, O Lord, protect us, guard us ever from this generation. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the sons of men (Ps. 12:7, 8, RSV).

It has been said that a frog placed in tepid water will not move if warmer water is added—until finally it succumbs in the heat. Similarly, Christians can become so accustomed to evil around them that, but for the grace of God, they succumb to that evil.

Vileness is being exalted today to the point of being accepted as the normal way of life. More and more we are in danger of finding ourselves comfortable in vile surroundings.

There are at least two reasons for this dangerous situation. First, the righteous foundations of moral and spiritual values to be found in the Word of God have been rejected or neglected. Secondly, wickedness in every form is paraded before our eyes through such means as magazines, books, and the screen, so that more and more it seems the acceptable way to live.

Because of blatant wickedness, America stands in dire danger. The words of the Prophet Jeremiah should ring in our ears: “ ‘Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore [note that “therefore”] they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,’ says the Lord” (Jer. 6:15).

Speaking to the scoffing Pharisees, our Lord said: “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).

Is there any reason to think that sin’s abomination before a holy God is any less today than it was in the time of Jeremiah or when our Lord walked this earth? Is there any reason to think that the wages of sin are less now than when sin made necessary the sacrifice of the Son of God on Calvary?

A study of the word “abomination” as it is found in the Bible can have a very sobering effect, for it concerns evil as God sees it. Because sin is an abomination in God’s sight, man would stand naked and lost were it not for the redeeming and cleansing power of the blood of Calvary.

At the national level, “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach [an abomination] to any people” (Prov. 14:34).

At the personal level, “the way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord”; even his “sacrifice” is an abomination to a holy God (Prov. 15:8, 9).

Christians need to pray with the psalmist, “Do thou, O Lord, protect us, guard us from this generation. On every side the wicked prowl, as vileness is exalted among the sons of men” (Ps. 12:7, 8).

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And the Church needs to guard against the insidious abomination of disregarding evil and its consequences.

It is no light thing to disobey the clear teachings of Holy Scripture. Paul describes the danger in these words: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth” (Rom. 1:18). The Prophet Jeremiah warns of the danger of shifting from the truth of God revealed to man: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

We are told that even the “thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 15:26a). Little wonder that the Apostle Paul demands of Christians that they reject conformity to this world through the renewal of the mind.

This disobedience to God, this rejection of the holiness he offers through faith in his Son, has a devastating effect. “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Prov. 28:9); and lest one think this is unwarranted “legalism” the writer continues: “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (v. 13).

Basic to the entire problem is our failure to sense or react to the holiness of God. It is the holiness of God that necessitated the Cross and that makes him unapproachable in any way other than through the redemption offered in that Cross.

How easy it is for us to overlook the all pervasive eye of this holy God! In many places the Bible speaks of this: “A man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he watches all his paths” (Prov. 5:21). The psalmist repeats the thought: “The Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Ps. 1:6).

The abomination of sin, beginning with disobedience to God’s loving commands, stands as a barrier between God and man that only the work of the Lord Jesus Christ can overcome.

When either men or nations set themselves against God, “he who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision” (Ps. 2:4). We live in such a time today.

The chaos of this world is the direct result of rejecting God: “The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble” (Prov. 4:19). Little wonder that the writer continues: “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to him who finds them, and healing to all his flesh. Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” (Prov. 4:20–24).

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Our danger lies in accepting the world’s standards for our own, in following the “wisdom” of this world which is foolishness with God, in failing to recognize that sin is truly an abomination to the Lord and that it must be judged, either in the person of his Son, or in those who reject him as their loving substitute.

Once we accept the world’s standards rather than God’s, the floodgates of disaster have been opened. And today, probably more than at any time in history, we are confronted with a saturation of evil standards paraded before our eyes and found wherever the unregenerate gather.

This is not prudishness. Nor is it an attempt to escape the consequences of living in a world gone mad after the lusts of the flesh. Rather, it is an appeal that we who are Christians should live in but not of this world, shining as lights in a dark place, giving all honor and glory to the One who has redeemed us and who keeps us from this evil world.

There are those who feel that Puritanism went too far, and it probably did. But we need today a return to spiritual and moral standards that will enable us to live above the things about us which are an abomination to God.

God has provided the Way and the power to live such lives in our times. They are ours for the taking, and they are the only way to survive—for eternity.

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