(The LORD said) "... The intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. ..." Genesis 8:21b
American scientists have come up with a thought, which they believe to be new.
Taking more than 60 different studies that span hundreds of years, they have concluded there is a direct and substantial correlation between human violence and changes that take place in temperature and rainfall. What that means is this:
* It means if the temperature rises, there is an increase in assaults, rapes, murders, group conflicts, and wars.
* It means if you have a long-term drought, you can expect domestic violence to increase.
* It means if global warming continues we can expect the world to become a nastier place. In some places, they suggest, the weather could make things really nasty.
Now if you are from Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana or Maine, you already knew that, didn't you? You didn't need science to tell you that when it is -30 degrees outside, people are too cold to get involved with a lot of interpersonal mischief.
Now the researchers are not exactly sure why this is. Some of them think bad weather causes bad economic times, and bad economic times cause people to react negatively. Others say bad weather increases people's desire to join up with groups that are promoting unrest in society.
Me, I have a more simple explanation. If it gets hot, people don't sleep. If people don't sleep, they get cranky. When they're cranky, they do nasty things.
I think the Lord might have a different and righter explanation.
After the flood, the Triune God shared with Noah, "the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth."
In other words, we really don't need much to set us off in a negative way. Cain killed his brother because he was jealous of how the Lord approved of Abel's sacrifice. David messed around with Bathsheba, well, simply because she was there. Judas betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
No, it doesn't take much for us to lose it, but it did take the life of God's Son to find us and put us back on the right path. Indeed, those who are washed of their sins in the Savior's spilled blood find they are changed.
That's what St. Paul was saying when he wrote: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself ...." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a).
It's a good thing to know, especially if you find yourself getting hot under the collar.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You not only know the condition of my heart, through the sacrifice of Your Son and the power given through the Means of Grace, I am no longer enslaved by sin, Satan, death -- or climatic changes. For this new heart and life I praise You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries