When things are not getting better and what to do about it
A Treatise on Gospel Hope
In a newly discovered sermon by C.S. Lewis we read:
“…why are things not going better? What do you make of the present threat of world famine? We know now it is not entirely due to the war. From country after country comes the same story of failing harvests. Even the whales have less oil. Can it be that nature, or something behind nature, is not simply a machine that we can do what we like with? That she is hitting back? Waive the point. Suppose she is only a machine, and that we are free to master her at our pleasure. Have you not begun to see that man’s conquest of nature is really man’s conquest of man? That every power wrested from nature is used by some men over other men? Men are the victims, not the conquerors in this struggle. Each new victory over nature yields new means of propaganda to enslave them, new weapons to kill them, new power for the state, and new weakness for the citizen. New contraceptives to keep man from being born at all.”1
Rushdoony in commenting on the laws of release in Leviticus points out the following,
“the land has a release from man. We are not to prune or cultivate the land and its vines and trees in the sabbatical years. Because “the earth is the LORD’s” (Ps. 24:1), we must obey God’s law and give the land its periodic release. This release applies to every person and sphere.”2
Much of what the world suffers today is due to man’s sin against God not in the distant past but within a generation of people who refuse to obey his laws. The world has gone ruthlessly forward using God's land, the whole earth, as if they own it, and has failed to operate as God owns it.
Thus when things are not getting better in our day, we need to be sure we are obeying the Lord. We need to begin obeying the Lord and his Word with the hope that it will get better in the future. To give up on obedience that is blessed by God is to give up on hope.
The newness that humanism offers is all downhill, but the newness the gospel offers is that of obedience to God from a pure heart. Things can only get better where the gospel pervades. Therefore, though our outer self is wasting away, our inward nature is being renewed day by day! The leaven of the gospel is in the lump, and if so, one can be sure there will be a rise of that gospel in the land. The gospel conquers sin, and will not relinquish its cause to magnify Christ over all things and in all things.
Begin putting on new glasses for years to come, for God our help in ages past is indeed our hope for years to come. Pursue holiness from a pure heart in everything you do, and ask God to bless the work of your hands. Sometimes the greatest act of obedience requires rest, as it did for the Israelites in relation to the year of Jubilee. To not rest in the gospel and help others to do the same is the most disobedient thing we can do.
R.J.Rushdoony, Commentaries on the Pentateuch, Vol.3.