In Sunday school the other day, I asked the question, “When was the last time you saw someone blush?” No one in the class could remember the last time they witnessed someone blush.
The word, “blush” is in the Bible three times. All three are about people being ashamed. The first is when Ezra announces his shame because of sin (Ezra 9:6), and this, in turn, causes a massive revival throughout Israel. The last two instances of the word blush in the Bible are both in the book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 6:15, 8:12). Both verses are nearly exact quotes of each other, and they talk of how the people no longer blush; they are no longer ashamed of the evil they do.
Have we in the United States reached the same point as Old Testament Israel did? Have we come to a place where sin is so commonplace we don’t blush anymore. Are we at a point where we have nothing to be ashamed of, not because of our goodness, but because we no longer know what sin is?
Here are just a couple of examples.
God tells us fornication, sex outside of marriage, is evil (Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 6:13, 18, 7:2, 10:8; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3), but in today’s American society, if a couple hasn’t had sex by the third or fourth date, they believe something is wrong with the relationship. We moved from waiting until the wedding night, to expecting sex within the first few meetings being the norm. In our eyes, the act of fornication has moved from being a sin, to being accepted and expected.
Language is another example. In times past some words, if spoken at all, were only spoken in private; now we are entertained by them in movies, television, and books and don’t think twice about them. It wasn’t long ago, if a 4-year-old uttered profanity, he would suffer some sort of reprimand.
Now the adults in the room laugh and talk about how cute it is.
We don’t blush anymore.
I know what some people are thinking. The thoughts are, “Preacher, it’s not all that bad. Everyone does it.” Why am I having flashbacks to my mother saying, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff …”
The “everyone is doing it” argument tends to forget one major fact. We are not the ones that make the rules – God already did. Right and wrong is not determined by majority vote or even by a single human dictator. When Moses came down of Mt. Siani with the law, it wasn’t something he figured out while he was up there. The law was something God had written and given to Moses to give to the people, “And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables” (Exodus 32:16).
Remember earlier about the first time “blush” is used in the scripture? Ezra was a good man in his day, but like all of us, he wasn’t perfect. He blushed and told of how his iniquities and the iniquities of all the people, were over their heads and if stacked, would reach unto the heavens (Ezra 9:6). The problem of sin they were facing wasn’t something that just started. Ezra spoke about how this had been going on for generations (Ezra 9:7).
The first step in fixing anything is to recognize something is wrong. America is the greatest nation on earth, but we are not without our problems. We are in the election process. The Iowa caucuses are over and by the time most everyone will read this the New Hampshire primary will be history. Electing the right leaders will help a little, but if we want to actually fix the nation, we must on an individual level recognize our sins and turn to God.
America is at a crossroads, we can either continue down the road of Jeremiah 6:15, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord.”
Or will we take the path of 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
When was the last time you blushed?