Two times Ecclesiastes says, “That which is crooked can not be made straight.”
Crooked things are twisted, perverted, messed up things. Like pretty much everything around us.
This is a fascinating concept. You can’t fix things.
Humanity cannot solve humanity’s problems. Are we aware of this? Or do we just ignore this bit of wisdom like we do the rest of Ecclesiastes?
Isaiah talks about crooked things being made straight three times. Each time the one straightening the crookedness is God.
God is the one who dropped crookedness on us as a result of our rebellion against our Creator. He made the world good; sin made it bad. God warned us that would happen.
God is not crooked, but He’s not afraid to give us crooked results for our crooked actions. God also, however, says that through His goodness we can be made straight.
But nothing else can straighten our crookedness. Got that?
Are you sure?
Government cannot straighten our crookedness. We can not pass laws enough to make us and our problems straight. The war on drugs and the war on poverty demonstrate this quite well. All our best philosophies and tons of resources have gone into solving these problems. Yet the problems persist, and in some ways are worse than ever.
The Church cannot straighten crookedness. Not even if all our guys were voted into office and all our constitutional amendments passed, all our laws were enacted, and Ten Commandments monuments were on every block, still society’s problems would persist.
You cannot solve everyone’s problems. No matter how much you think you know, you are not the one who is equipped to solve other people’s problems.
That which is crooked cannot be made straight.
Actually it’s not depressing, it’s a main reason why people end up going to God! He’s the only one who can straighten our crookedness.
But hang on, before you start thinking you know how to get God to do your bidding, the ultimate straightening is not until He returns, removes the curse, and sets all things right.
We won’t get peace in the Middle East. We won’t solve poverty. We won’t be able to stop homosexuals from getting married. We won’t be able to stop abortion. We won’t.
I know this is not what various organizations who need your donations will tell you, but it is what the Bible says.
So, what do we do? Just sit by and watch the world flame out? Sort of. But we also know the One who can put fires out.
We are to 1) obey God. 2) Stop complaining. 3) Hold onto and hold out the word of life. In so doing we stand out like lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Philippians 2:12-16).
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer. Not politicians. Not the church. Not Ten Commandment monuments. The Gospel offers deliverance from crookedness.
But remember, even there, you still live in a crooked world and will get crookedness no matter how much you believe the Gospel. Faith does not deliver you from the curse of the Fall in this life.
That’s why Solomon concludes that life on this earth is vain. This is not our home. Our home is much more straight. Bring the reality of that home into your own life.
No, you can’t solve poverty, but you can help those in need. No, you can’t stop the homosexual agenda, but you might be able to help a homosexual. No, you won’t be able to end abortion, but you may be able to help a young girl care for her child.
Stop worrying about solving all the world’s problems and take advantage of the opportunities around you. Live the Gospel. Preach the Gospel. Let the Lord do the straightening.