2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Righteousness mostly missing is caused by people, who never apply Godís
righteousness to the whole of creation, or they only selectively apply it,
which leaves huge gaps, and as a result, millions of humans, billions of
animals, and the environment suffers.
True righteousness only comes from God; it ties in with His lovingkindness which has no limits; so, if we really love God, then we will love the whole of His creation and do everything we can to free it from its present corruption, and this requires us to extend Godís righteousness to the whole of His creation, including every human, every animal, and the environment in which we all live.
If we donít do this consistently, then we will find righteousness mostly missing.
Letís now take a look at Psalm 119:137-144, and see if we can find righteousness, or will we find righteousness mostly missing.
137. Righteous art Thou, O LORD,
And upright are Thy judgments.
Here we find what we already should know, that God is righteous, but what about the people who call themselves believers?
138. Thou hast commanded Thy testimonies in righteousness
And exceeding faithfulness.
After acknowledging the righteousness of God, the psalmist goes onÖ
139. My zeal has consumed me,
Because my adversaries have forgotten Thy words.
Now we see that the psalmist talks about people in whom he finds righteousness mostly missing, because they have forgotten to live according to Godís heavenly will.
140. Thy word is very pure,
Therefore Thy servant loves it.
The psalmist explains that only the true servants of the Lord truly love Him
and His word, which includes His heavenly will.
These are the peacemaking children of God, whom Jesus calls us all to be, and who Paul explains in Romans 8 are the ones who will help free creation from its present corruption.
This also means that in all the other people, who make up the bulk of the population of this world, we find true righteousness mostly missing.
141. I am small and despised,
Yet I do not forget Thy precepts.
And because the psalmist says he follows the heavenly will of God, he is
despised by most of the population, and we find that same thing going on
The world despises the peacemaking children of God, for these children of God are a witness against them, because in the world we find righteousness mostly missing.
142. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
And Thy law is truth.
Then the psalmist reminds us that righteousness is in God and in His heavenly will, which we all should be following here on earth as it is in heaven.
143. Trouble and anguish have come upon me;
Yet Thy commandments are my delight.
144. Thy testimonies are righteous forever;
Give me understanding that I may live.
The psalmist then closes this portion of Psalm 119 with a very serious
reminder that only the people who follow the heavenly will of God, and who
have repented of their former worldly ways, and turned away from them, will
live forever with the Lord in heaven.
Now, as we look at Habakkuk 2:6-11, we see him addressing people in whom he finds righteousness mostly missing.
6. "Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him,
Even mockery and insinuations against him,
And say, 'Woe to him who increases what is not his
ó For how long ó
And makes himself rich with loans?'
7. "Will not your creditors rise up suddenly,
And those who collect from you awaken?
Indeed, you will become plunder for them.
In other words, we could say that whatever evil we do against others, and we
believe that we must include the animals in this scenario, the evil we do
will come back upon our own heads.
Because when most of the people find righteousness mostly missing they think that they can get away with doing evil to others, including the evil humans do to animals in raising them, in killing them, and eating them, and as a result these people suffer the plight of suffering with most of our chronic diseases.
And, the same holds true with ill-gotten gain, as Habakkuk addresses in this passage.
This is really the same thing that the golden rule teaches us as we are told in Matthew 7:12Ö
12. So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for
this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Or, in the case before us, it is applying the good intentions of this passage to evil intentions, for in Godís heavenly will, whatever we do, good or evil, we are also asking for it to be done to us, which is exactly the problem that Habakkuk is addressing.
8. "Because you have looted many nations,
All the remainder of the peoples will loot you ó
Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land,
To the town and all its inhabitants.
We hope we can plainly see that the evil that the people did to others, will now come upon them.
9. "Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house
To put his nest on high
To be delivered from the hand of calamity!
When we find righteousness mostly missing, we are not to add to the problem, rather we are to counter it with righteousness.
10. "You have devised a shameful thing for your house
By cutting off many peoples;
So you are sinning against yourself.
11. "Surely the stone will cry out from the wall,
And the rafter will answer it from the framework.
If people donít speak out against evil when they find righteousness mostly
missing, then they are really condoning the evil, then that evil will come
upon them, which is the main problem in the world today.
And because there is so much evil going on in the world today, innocent humans and animals get caught up in the violence and ungodliness.
In Luke 19:1-10, Jesus shows us an example of one of the ways we should act when we find righteousness mostly missing.
1. And He entered and was passing through Jericho.
2. And behold, there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; and he was a chief tax-gatherer, and he was rich.
From what we are told here, we get the impression the Zaccheus was not a very righteous person, but even through his unrighteousness, he also seems to have a quest to find out who Jesus really is.
3. And he was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable because of the
crowd, for he was small in stature.
4. And he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.
We find it very interesting that we are told that Zaccheus climbed a sycamore tree, for sycamore trees have a peeling bark, which is symbolic to us that Zaccheusí unrighteousness might also be starting to peel away.
5. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus,
hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."
6. And he hurried and came down, and received Him gladly.
This is similar to the way we change when the Holy Spirit comes upon us when we are born again, for we recognize the truth from the lies.
7. And when they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."
This is the problem with most of the people in the world; they pretend to be religious, and may even think they are religious, but they fail to have the love of God in their mind, heart, and soul, for they condemn rather than have the capacity to forgive.
8. And Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."
Note how Zaccheus is changing from a sinner to a child of God.
9. And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because
he, too, is a son of Abraham.
10. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
If Jesus can do this, then as peacemaking children of God, we should be able
to the same thing by leading people away from the ways of the world and into
the heavenly will of God.
As we look at 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12, letís see if we can find any examples of righteousness mostly missing.
1. Paul and Silvanus and Timothy to the church of the Thessalonians in God
our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
4. therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
If these people have to endure persecutions and afflictions, it is proof
that we will find righteousness mostly missing in the people who are
If this was happening to any of us, could we just sit back and leave the retribution to God, or would we be the ones to take revenge?
5. This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering.
Only worldly people take revenge, for such actions are not for the peacemaking children of God.
6. For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who
7. and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
8. dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
We all need to remember this.
God, as the only truly righteous judge, is the only one who is qualified to pass judgement.
9. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the
presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
10. when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed ó for our testimony to you was believed.
And so should ours, which only can happen if we are living in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
11. To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you
worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work
of faith with power;
12. in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are to be peacemaking children of God at all times, so that our witness
in the world will shame the evil doers and glorify Jesus Christ.
Wherever we find righteousness mostly missing, we are to reject it and the people who promote such worldly ways of life, for those people are the ones who condone and participate in the violence in this world that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
As peacemaking children of God, we are to help free creation from its present corruption.
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