“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
Selfish ambition. Greed. Violence. Debauchery. Idolatry. These are pretty strong words, or “woes” as they are often referred to in Scripture. And yet, they could very easily describe much of modern-day culture. Well, some things don’t change, because God described the ancient nation of Babylon in these very same terms to the prophet, Habakkuk.
- Selfish Ambition (Habakkuk 2: 4-5): A society so focused on wealth and status that corners are cut and relationships crumble. From social media influencer to C-suite executive, the pursuit of the “American dream” of wealth and success has driven many people to take shortcuts and even sacrifice others in their climb to the top.
- Greed (Habakkuk 2: 9-11): The Bible uses the word covet to describe a level of envy and jealousy so great that it leads to resentment towards others. God took the sin of coveting so seriously that it made it into the ten commandments.
- Violence (Habakkuk 2: 12-14): Babylon was one of the most violent and powerful nations at that time. America is certainly in no shortage of violence.
- Debauchery (Habakkuk 2: 15-17): Debauchery isn’t a common word today. It refers to an excessive indulgence for pleasure. For Babylon it was drunkenness. Today, it could describe our culture of sexual freedom, drug addictions, or the opioid crisis that is crippling much of the nation.
- Idolatry (Habakkuk 2: 18-20): Now, in Babylon’s day, this often translated into a physical idol made out of precious metal, jewelry, or wood that would be worshipped as a god. However, in today’s modern culture, idolatry refers to anything that we place before God. This can be a relationship, career, finances, a hobby – you fill in the blank.
God might have been speaking about the Babylonians in this conversation with Habakkuk, but it could so easily describe society today. Ask God to identify which “modern-day woes” might be showing up in your life. With God’s help, you can address even the smallest root of these sins before they grow into bigger and bigger problems. You’ll be glad you did!