What are some biblical signs of the nation and the world’s declining morality?
Micah 7:1-7 The Fall and Decline of Morality
National moral decline happens when God is neglected. Micah lists five different kinds of relationships that are affected by a nation’s refusal to follow God and they are shockingly close to what we see in society today. It’s almost as if Micah the Prophet is a contemporary of ours and he sits with us to watch the nightly news and watches social media. It’s as if he’s seen the latest movies churned out at an increasingly immoral Hollywood. Each generation is exposed to more and more of the raw brutality, illicit sex, and escalating violence (in movies, video games, sports). We are desensitizing our minds to the point that we don’t blush anymore, we don’t turn away from violent scenes like we used to, and our children are being exposed to sexual immorality at a younger and younger age as the TV ratings change. What used to be PG or PG-13 was rated R about 10-15 years ago. Some words you couldn’t say on TV are now randomly said as if they’re part of the natural conversation, and the only time God’s name is mentioned is when it is blasphemed or used in a joke. It’s like we’re the proverbial frog in the pot, not knowing he’s slowly cooking to death. The change is so gradual that most people don’t notice it, but when you look at movies and the media 10 years ago or more, and then see what’s popular today, it’s obvious there is a stark contrast.
Micah 7:1 Godly Influence Disappears
“Woe is me! For I have become as when the summer fruit has been gathered, as when the grapes have been gleaned: there is no cluster to eat, no first-ripe fig that my soul desires.” (Micah 7:1)
Micah indicates one of the first signs of a nation’s moral decline is that God has been pushed out of the government, the public square, the public schools, and out of mind. The law to protect religious freedom that was intended to keep the government out of the church has been twisted into keeping the church out of the government…or the public square, or anyplace else. It is just as if Paul wrote this today; “there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:18). Micah is using the analogy of the harvest and a declining godly influence in the nation.
Micah 7:2 Escalating Violence
“The godly has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among mankind; they all lie in wait for blood, and each hunts the other with a net.” (Micah 7:2)
Another indicator of a declining national morality is the escalation of violence. People don’t turn away from it anymore, but actually turn to see it; in movies, television, the Internet, video games, and in music. Violence is celebrated and condoned in ways that just a decade or two ago would have never even been allowed. Jesus said that as in the days of Noah, so it would be in the days leading up to Jesus return (Matt 24:37), but what were those days like? It says, “Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Gen 6:11-12).
Micah 7:3-4 Business and Political Corruption
“Their hands are on what is evil, to do it well; the prince and the judge ask for a bribe, and the great man utters the evil desire of his soul; thus they weave it together. The best of them is like a brier, the most upright of them a thorn hedge. The day of your watchmen, of your punishment, has come; now their confusion is at hand.” (Micah 7:3–4)
You don’t have to watch the news every day to see that political and business corruption has grown. The “good ole’ boy” system has the same people sitting in power, year after year, sometimes spending their entire lives in Congress. With no term limits, the politicians have few limits. Their personal pork barrel project’s assures they get reelected year after year while overspending without discretion. Some get free passes (because of their wealth, their attorney, or their contacts) while the common citizen foots the bill.
Micah 7:5 Unfaithful Friendships
“Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms;” (Micah 7:5)
The person who is a friend is one who will stick closer than a brother and will not bail out on you when times get tough, but sometimes tough times make us turn on our friends and they turn on us. Cynicism has never been higher. People are more skeptical these days than ever because they’ve got burned by someone who they thought was their friend, but their friend was not a true friend at all, but only a friend as long as it was to their advantage.
Micah 7:6 Not Honoring Parents
“for the son treats the father with contempt, the daughter rises up against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies are the men of his own house.” (Micah 7:6)
The Bible indicates that whoever honors his or her parents may live a longer life (Ex 20:12), but what we are seeing in these days of a declining national morality is the decline of honoring one’s own parents. We’re commanded to honor our parents, and I think that means when we’re at home and when we’re adults, but this doesn’t seem to be the case today, at least in many circumstances. It’s now parent against child, child insulting parents, children disobeying parents and members of their own household have now become their own enemies. Abuse of elderly parents, taking advantage of parents through intimidation, and public and private disrespect is not uncommon at all today. The only way to stop this decline and turn this around is for people to “look to the Lord” (Micah 7:7) before it’s too late. It’s not the generation gap that’s the problem; its children ruling over their parents.
God Gives Them Up
Read what Paul says about those who reject the truth: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Rom 1:21-23). And what happened after their hearts became darkened? “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves” (Rom 1:24), and “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error” (Rom 1:26-27), “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless” (Rom 1:28-31). These last few verses sound like they came right off the script of a television sitcom. Also notice that three times God says He “gave them up,” so there is a point in which God gives people up to their unrighteousness…and it is an ever downward spiral into hell.
The same thing that happened to the Jews is happening around the world, and after a society becomes so debased, God’s dam of mercy is burst by His righteous indignation and wrath bursts forth. Jesus said whoever believes in Him has eternal life but whoever rejects Him has the wrath of God abiding on them (John 3:36), but it needn’t be so. If God has not yet brought you to repentance and faith in Christ, think about the sins you (and I) have committed that have separated you from God (Isaiah 59:2). You cannot possibly ever achieve the righteousness you need on your own (Gal 3:1-6) because it can only come through Christ (2nd Cor 5:21). Please, I beg you, think about it at least, and while today is still called today (2nd Cor 6:2), because the judgment comes at Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15) or after the death of the unbeliever (Heb 9:27).
Take a look at this related article: America Without God
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.