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The Scandal of Moral Failure

{mosimage}When the scandal hit, most people caught their breath in shock. Each day the headlines were worse. The pictures made us all cringe in disgust. Politicians expressed outrage and the military tried to insist that it was an isolated incident.

 

The scandal had all the juicy ingredients of big news. Those claiming the moral high ground and trumpeting the moral right had been proven to be capable of evil equal to that of their enemies. Once the shock wore off, many secretly, and some not so secretly, gloated. Many others expressed dismay. In their hearts they wondered, if the behaviour of these who claim to be good is so essentially corrupted, where does that leave us? Who can we now turn to? Who can we now believe? Is there none who is righteous?

 

The Prophet Isaiah tells us the answer to that question ? 'there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.? (Isaiah 59:7) The Apostle Paul quotes the great prophet in the book of Romans as he explains that even those who know and diligently obey the Law are not righteous because they observe it, they are only made conscious of their sin.

 

We should not be surprised at the moral failure of men who have been following the law, trained to follow orders, trained to live within the context of war. Though they thought they stood on moral high ground, they have been standing on sinking sand. The external rules and regulations prove to be only a veneer that rubs off when circumstances change, when they discover they are not living in a place where everyone follows those same rules.

 

There is only one sure foundation for morality, for righteousness, and that is God Himself. The good news is that even those who perpetrate such horrific crimes - crimes against their enemies, themselves and all of mankind ? even these can attain righteousness. It is not righteousness born of laws or patriotism or morality, but it is righteousness that comes from the true high ground.

 

Thus the apostle Paul does not leave us all in a desperate and depressing place when he points out our lack of righteousness. He goes on to say, ?But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known ... This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe? (Romans 3:21,22).

 

Who do we turn to? Who do we now believe? The only man who can keep us all from the atrocities of our own sin ? Jesus Christ.

Marcia Laycock is a pastor's wife and freelance writer living in Alberta Canada.  Her devotional book, The Spur of the Moment has been endorsed by Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and others.  To order, and to view more of Marcia's writing, see her web site - www.vinemarc.com
Copyright Marcia Lee Laycock, 2000, 2001,2002,2003,2004
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