Thursday, January 05, 2006

Old problems require old solutions

Some of the major causes of death in our world tend to be preventable diseases. But, not all preventable diseases cause death; some just make our life miserable. We could list a dozen of diseases that we have to deal with in our day, whether directly or indirectly, that had we taken care of ourselves we, or others we know, could avoid. Avoiding certain habits and cultivating good ones could give us an incredible quality of lifestyle. We hear about arthritis, diabetes, and inadequate levels of cholesterol, triglicerides, and fat in the liver. We hear about heart disease, strokes, and obesity. Many try to find solutions to these problems by trying anything new in the market: creams, ointments, pills, drugs, herbs, surgeries, etc. But, while many of these solutions seem to alleviate the problem the do not offer a complete and final remedy. Furthermore, some of these remedies produce other complications, to which we then try to find more new solutions.

Very few know that our diseases are not new, they have existed for most of sinful humanities history. Advanced and sophisticated studies done on Egyptian mummies reveal that they also suffered from the same ailments we do. In fact, those same studies reveal that there lifestyle was very similar to ours. Apparently, none of there solutions helped them either. Imagine, when alive, some of those persons that were mummified as they died, suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, back pains, headaches, and high cholesterol. Just like we do today. No wonder the wise man says, “there is nothing new under the sun.”

Another problem in our society is the state of our families. Consider that for years we have been quoting that nearly half of all marriages end up in divorce. However, other problems are arising: an increase number of cohabitating couples, single parent homes, and now gay and lesbian homes. Add to this, the ever-present problem of bigamy and polygamy. Our cry is, “What is our world coming to?” However, the words of Solomon are still true, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Just peruse the verses cited in Tuesday’s lesson: Genesis 27:1-28:5; Ruth 1:22; 2:23; Jeremiah 16:2; Hosea 1:2, 3, 6, 8; 3:1-3. You will find in Bible times a variety of family situations akin to our time. The author of the lesson comments that: Isaac and Rebekah lived with their adult son, Jacob, and his married twin brother, Esau. The grieving widows Naomi and Ruth, bound together as mother and daughter-in-law, found refuge together. Jeremiah was single. Hosea parented his three children alone before he was reconciled to Gomer. Still other Bible families include the siblings Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, who had a home in Bethany where Jesus visited (John 11:1-3, 20); Aquila and Priscilla, married but apparently never had children (Acts 18:2, 18; 1 Cor 16:19); and the family of grandmother Lois, her daughter Eunice, and grandson Timothy, in Lystra. Timothy's Greek father may have separated from the family as an unbeliever (Acts 16:1, 2 Tim. 1:5; compare 1 Cor 7:15). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah partly because of rampant homosexuality. Even David suffered the consequences of taking wives and concubines when God’s law is clear about fornication and adultery. Indeed, “nothing is new under the sun.”

Many today offer solutions to the state of marriage and family in our society. They write books, host radio and TV shows, and offer seminars. But, what they offer does not seem to work. It does not matter how much new information is out, none of it seems adequate enough to solve the marital and familial crises in our world today. In fact, like the health solutions, some of the solutions to save marriages and families seem to produce other complications that then require other new solutions.

When Christ walked the earth he offered no new solution to the marital and familial problem of His day. Although, His delivery may have varied, in the end He offered to all suffering due to their marriage or family problem the same solution – Himself. He loved (Agape) and cared for all of them. You see all of our marital and familial problem come from one root problem, which is SIN. And, Christ is the only antidote for Sin. Can Christ use any of these new methods to save our families or heal us from the pain of our marital or family situation? Certainly! However, unless He prescribes them they will not work. (Tuesday lesson also offers a caveat worth mentioning. While God may work with household situation that are less than ideal, He will not approve of sinful situations like: cohabiting, extramarital, more than one spouse, and homosexual situations. It is His agape that drives Him to not accept these households.)

Christ cared for families. Indeed, He was a family member Himself. And, even as He faced death He remembered His earthly mother and provided for Her. As we go through our own situation we must remember that God has not forgotten us. Let us let Him heal our wounds and restore us ad our families to His ideal. And, as we experience the situation of others, let’s not forget what God has done for us. Let us share with them of His great mercies.

The Special Insights web page resides at: