Verse 22 may certainly be applied with propriety as we have done above, but in the context the apostle aims it at a specific vice of the Gentile world.  These wise men of the world became such fools, through being so utterly estranged from the knowledge of God, that they forgot what they had previously known of His eternal power and Godhead, and changed His glory into the likeness of creatures of the earth.  This, of course, refers to the envelopment of the Gentile world in heathen darkness.  When Noah and his family came off the ark, God was fully known, at least so far as He had then revealed Himself, and there were no idols in the world.  This changed very shortly, perhaps as many think with Ham’s grandson Nimrod.  In just a few short generations, men had so thoroughly abandoned the God of heaven, the same God Who had rescued their race from annihilation in the waters of the flood, that they began to erect statutes of wood, stone, and precious metals, designed as birds, or land beasts, the creeping things such as serpents, or like unto men.  Others fell down before the hosts of heaven, worshipping the sun, moon, and stars.  In Isaiah we find God through the prophet mocking those who are so debased in their minds that they can cut down a tree, burn part of it in the fireplace for warmth, use some of the wood as fuel for their cooking stove, and then use the rest to carve an image, before which they will fall down and cry out for deliverance.  How dreadful is the power of Satan over the minds of men whose hearts have not been renewed by God!  Within the lifetime of Noah, after the flood, almost the entire earth had departed so far from his God that they were bowing down to deities of their own imaginations, which they represented as men or animals, or some combination of the two.  Not surprisingly, when men began to worship animals, their moral behavior soon slipped to the morality of animals.  It was, historically speaking, not long at all after the flood when we find the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, along with their neighbors, sunk down into such abominable degradation that God visited them with fire and brimstone from heaven, overthrowing their cities and turning them into ashes.

One could fain wish that human nature had improved since those pagan days, yet what we observe around us is a new descent into pagan darkness.  No religion is more despised than the Christianity of the Bible, no deity more fiercely hated than the One described in the pages between Genesis 1 and Revelation 22.  Now once again, at international environmental conferences, we hear men and women of great power and influence calling upon the gods of nature to help them in their battle to establish eco-tyranny across the planet.  There has, in recent days, been a stunning revival of interest in the long-forgotten gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  It will be no surprise whatsoever if in the not too distant future temples are again erected for Zeus and Apollo and Venus, and their horrible and degraded rites are re-established.  All the while, as men turn from the worship of God to the worship of nature and of their fellow men, they deride the Bible as full of ignorance and superstition, and advancing a barbaric religion that no civilized person could tolerate.  Such astounding blindness to which God has delivered us!  The one book, the one religion that can truly civilize men and establish peace and harmony, is roundly despised.  Those who will not worship the true Creator will inevitably begin to worship some creature, and often the very vilest, which very clearly manifests the utter depravity of the human heart.

 

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