This great world in all its beauty and glory was created for the glory of God and for our pleasure and enjoyment. We were placed in it to enjoy it and to have the riches of God surround us, astound us and mystify us. All of the world’s beauty and benefits were to be poured out on us as objects of God’s affection for us. The environment of the world was to protect us, provide for us and nurture us. The wind would caress us, the swaying trees would soothe us, the rivers would refresh us, the stars and the oceans would confound us, the ground would feed us, the fruit would delight us, the animals would amuse us. God Himself would delight us and His presence would always be with us and surround us.
We were to be forever fed by the Tree of Life, daily fed by the life of God who surrounded us as a fortress. We never would have possessed knowledge of evil; we would never comprehended its existence in the universe, we would have never been aware of its presence. The goodness and presence of God is all we would have ever known all the days of our lives. Our joy would only have known increase and never known decrease. Our peace would have been a constant environment like a room temperature. Our contentment would have been unchanged because nothing would have been or could have been ever taken away from us, ever. Such is the life God designed for us to enjoy in the perfect world He created for us. What a blessed life was prepared for us!
As a result of The Fall, man now knows not only good, but also evil after feeding from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. It is by God’s grace that we still know and enjoy much good in this fallen world. However it is no longer a perfect, holy good that we know. We know good only in it’s disfigured form. We find it difficult and unfathomable to comprehend the idea of pure good. To us, genuine, perfect goodness does not exist, not in our world. There are rumors that it once existed, but these rumors are more like fairy tales.
All we have known is a fallen world, disfigured by evil all around us. The remains of good are still there. The skies are often blue above us and boast of a world outside this place. We dream of other worlds out there which would provide for us. We know we can’t trust this one entirely; it is often against us. It is dying all around us. We know it, but we can’t do anything about it. Despite our best environmental programs, it is still wearing out like an old garment. We are dying, our lives are cut short and sometimes even shorter than what we anticipate. It doesn’t seem fair.
We fight and attempt to prevent death, deterioration and disease with all our strength, all our knowledge, all our resources and all our medicines but they still overtake us in the end. We win some battles but we have yet to win the war. Mankind despite our best efforts to defeat death, still dies. Wars and rumors of wars surround us.
There is something wrong with the world. We know it deep in our hearts. This is not the way things are supposed to be. Death even though it is quite normal around us, is not normal. Illness even though it surrounds us, we know is wrong. Injustice too, even though it continually rules us, we can never accept or submit too it. We continually cry, it’s not fair! We know the world was intended to be fair but we also know it’s not.
It is not what is wrong with the world, but what is wrong with man? Why does man even need the law in order to make him behave? We wouldn’t need so many laws to regulate man’s behavior if nothing was wrong with man. The presence and need for external laws to govern us point to something being absent and broken within us, an internal governing authority. Why does it take the law to tell us we must do good? Why does it take the law to tell us we should not steal from another? Why does it take the law to make us love one another?
The presence of the law points to something being wrong because if the world was not broken, we would not need so many laws to try and regulate our behavior. We would not need a law to tell us to love others. We would not need a law to tell us not to murder. We would not need a law to tell us not to commit adultery. If we were only ruled by love we would not need a law to rule us.
But we are not ruled by love and so we need a loving law to rule us, to convict us and to confront us with our failure to love others.
What is loving? We do not love others because we do not know how to love. This is the core problem of man, our hearts. That is why we struggle with all of our relationships, in all our relationships. We struggle to love. We love too much that which we should not love and we love too little that which we should love. The truth is we don’t know what true love is so how can we make good loving laws based on love to guide us and rule over us?
What is wrong with the world? What is wrong with man? Everyone knows that something is wrong with the world and with man but no one knows what it is or how to fix it. Psychiatrists want to medicate man. Psychologists want to try to reason and talk to man. Schools & Universities want to educate man. The military wants to train man for war and protection against other men. Environmentalists want to regulate man. Government wants to try to rule over man. The church alone speaks of saving man.
What’s wrong with the world? It’s as G.K. Chesterton responded to that old newspaper column The Times when they asked that age old question. He simply said:
I would take this even further and say it is the absence of the great “I AM”, the ultimate governing authority, the ultimate source of all love, for He himself is Love, that is wrong with the world.