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Summary: The wickedness witnessed in contemporary society breaks the heart of the follower of Christ, just as such evil breaks the heart of the Saviour.

“‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended,

and we are not saved.’

For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded;

I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me.

“Is there no balm in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why then has the health of the daughter of my people

not been restored?

Oh that my head were waters,

and my eyes a fountain of tears,

that I might weep day and night

for the slain of the daughter of my people!

Oh that I had in the desert

a travelers’ lodging place,

that I might leave my people

and go away from them!

For they are all adulterers,

a company of treacherous men.” [1]

Recently, while reading the news in the early hours, I found myself terribly distraught—more disturbed than usual by what I was reading. In fact, as I read, I was reduced to tears. I find that I am often reduced to tears as I observe events that occur in our world today. It is almost impossible not to be broken-hearted by the broken, fallen condition of the world in which we live.

The news I read that morning, related how a mother in Kansas had beaten her two-year-old son to death because he wouldn’t eat a hotdog. [2] She and her boyfriend had beaten the child severely, and then were terrified because he was injured. The little boy was taken to hospital, where he died two days later. Shouldn’t that break our hearts? Then, I read about a mother in North Carolina who traded her one-year-old daughter for an old Plymouth automobile. [3] Shouldn’t we weep at such callus attitude toward one’s own children? Some things are so dreadful that it is impossible not to be broken-hearted.

More recently, we learned of a scheme to lure pregnant women from Pacific Islands to Arizona where they were crammed into cramped quarters until they gave birth. Their children were then taken from them and sold, as though children are a commodity. [4] Should we not weep for the pain of these mothers when their children are stolen? Should we not weep for the pain that these same children will experience throughout their lives?

Those accounts, tragically, don’t appear to be exceptional. Similar accounts of heartless mothers have broken my heart during past years. For example, a mother in Ohio traded sex with her eleven-year-old daughter for heroin. As a reward to her daughter for performing sex acts with the disgusting man to whom she was sold, the mother gave her daughter some of the heroin as “a reward.” [5] A mother in Maryland traded sex with her eleven-year-old daughter in order to pay off a debt. [6] We witness the constant recruitment into sexual slavery as young girls and boys are bought and sold, even being brought into Canada and the United States by ruthless gangs that care not that these young people are being destroyed for monetary gain. [7] Aren’t such despicable acts enough to cause us to weep? Should we not show compassion for those suffering souls?

As I was preparing this message, I thought I had perhaps found the bottom of this cesspool of evil humanity, and then I read an account of a mother and daughter who abused a woman with cognitive disabilities. Raylaine Knope and her daughter, Bridget Lambert were sentenced to prison after they were arrested for abusing—physically, psychologically and verbally—a disabled relative. They forced her to sleep in a cage in the yard and do daily housework and yard chores for food and water. They struck her in the head with boards and burned her arms with cigarette lighters. At one point, they even forced this poor soul to eat her deceased mother’s ashes! The woman whom they abused was a relative, though I do not have the details on the relationship. [8] Shouldn’t such stories break the heart of the most jaded Christian? Can we actually remain unmoved?

Accounts such as these could be multiplied many times over and on a daily basis. They are reminiscent of the warning delivered by the Apostle. Writing Timothy, Paul warned him and all who would read that letter, “Understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people” [2 TIMOTHY 3:1-5].

The Apostle saw a day when people would be consumed with their own situation. Indeed, he wrote of “times of difficulty,” hard times, dangerous times. As you read that dark catalogue of characteristics defining those last days, the focus of each of those complaints—magnified as the total list is applied to society—is symptomatic of exaltation of the “self.” I must wonder whether we are seeing the fulfilment of prophecy, and in particular, whether we are witnessing the fulfilment of this particular prophecy in this day. There is much to break the heart of the one who follows the Lord Jesus. We live in a fallen world. Sometimes I try to rationalise the dark news, telling myself that it is only because of more access to news reports that we know of such atrocities. However, our world is a dark environment, and wickedness does abound. The heart of fallen people is far more evil than any of us might ever imagine.

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