Human depravity is the downward spiral of human thought and behavior. From the evidence, it doesn’t appear that we are getting better. Moses wrote, “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time (Gen 6:5). His words are emphatic that the collective human heart had reached a place of total depravity.
Is there not similarity to our world today? There is an obsession with sexuality because inappropriate sexual acts are seen on major networks at all times of day or night. Talk shows introduce the most appalling and vulgar subjects with no reservations. Dignity and decorum have vanished in our culture. Profanity is used everywhere, including by parents in front of their children.
When we have mass shootings by troubled teens, we quickly learn the context. Their human connections had broken down; they witnessed failed marriages, lived in broken homes, and idolized violence. Violence is revered everywhere, in movies, videos, games, and it is only a matter of time until some troubled individual tries to copy what he has seen. Our world is more like Noah’s world than we imagine. The world in Noah’s day was influenced and controlled by spiritual forces, and so is our world. Paul stated it this way, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12).
When you have heard the pathology of today’s family, and it is filled with sorrow, pain, anguish, and bitterness, you feel sadness. When a little boy is bounced back and forth from mom to dad and given medicine so he can calm down, your heart aches for him. When a small child cries and believes it is her fault that her mom and dad have gone their separate ways, you want to cry. When a father who is supposed to love his daughter, sexually abuses her, you feel disgusted. When a mother who is supposed to nurture her infant abandons him, you feel repulsed. When you see an anxious child living in a home fraught with conflict, your heart breaks. When a teenager who is so woefully unprepared for life falls into the clutches of addiction, you cringe. We wonder what’s wrong with our world, but if we looked at what’s wrong with our homes, we would find the answer.
This kind of assessment of our world is discouraging if we did not realize that wherever there is great sin, there is greater grace. In that godless and distorted world, we read these words about Noah, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:8). Noah was a sinner like all the rest of us, but he realized it, and he asked God for forgiveness and received grace. The grace way is the only safe way to live in our world. It is possible to walk with God today the way Noah did because God gives us his grace. We need his help in our marriages, our families, and our work. Our only hope is in God’s grace.