Sunday School Lessons

Actually Profound

Have you ever dryly (or sarcastically) said that another person’s most recent comment was “profound”, when they – in fact – were not?  Sometimes, when the obvious is stated or a conclusion takes too long to be drawn, we can appreciate whatever the opposite of profound is.  (An electronic thesaurus check – from Microsoft Word, for what it’s worth – suggests “superficial” or “shallow” as antonyms to “profound”, depending on the definition.)  As an example, a former colleague of mine used to jokingly say in a dry tone, “Nothing difficult is ever easy.”  That’s ironic (and funny, in my opinion), but probably not terribly profound.

However, observations and lessons do exist that are truly profound.  They are (using the same thesaurus) “deep”, “reflective”, “weighty”, or “insightful”.  These concepts are worth spending some time thinking about, and considering what they mean to us.

Consider what Psalm 92:5 says.

How great are your works, LORD,
how profound your thoughts!
Psalms 92:5 NIV

https://psalm.bible/psalm-92-5

Since God’s thoughts are indeed “profound”, we can further appreciate this by comparing them to the opposite, in verses 6-7.  Someone who is “senseless” (or “stupid”, per NASB) and foolish doesn’t appreciate the consequences of sin.

We probably see this same thing today, where those who are doing evil sometimes appear to be successful in the short-term.  Openly anti-Christian people – whether from Hollywood, business, technology, or government (although there are righteous people in each of those spheres of influence, as well) – sit on tons of money, and wield the power to make bad decisions for other people.  We might wonder what is going on, since a perfect, holy God is in charge, but these things still happen.

Now, I want to be clear, I am not suggesting that everyone who honestly questions why bad things happen to innocent children and “good” people is an idiot.  However, there are those who could know better, but choose to suppress the facts.  Consider the mockers (or scoffers) of 2 Peter 3:3-7, who – per some translations – are intentionally ignoring the facts (in that case, of God’s creation and the punishment of the Great Flood).  Honest questions about why evil exists (and even thrives) in this world are healthy.  Mocking arrogance is not.

This passage from the Psalms reminds us that there is always justice, though.  Sin never goes unpunished.  The balances are never left unbalanced.  If they do not repent, the wicked will reap what they have sown.  Any short-term appearance of worldly success – of “getting away with it” – for those in this world who haven’t received salvation is just a deception: a temporary delay of justice dressed up as a “free pass”.

In fact, those who follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are no exception to the rule of God’s justice.  Our sins earned us death (see Romans 6:23 and Proverbs 10:16).  In this regard, the difference between the saved and the unsaved is not whether or not their sins result in the penalty of death, but whether the individual’s separation from God or Jesus’ sacrifice is going to cover that debt.

God’s works are great and His thoughts are profound.  Conversely, not all interpretations of what we might see around us are accurate, so let us not ignore or mock the truth about God’s justice.


From Sunday School lesson prepared for October 30, 2022

References:

  • The Lookout, October 30, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
  • The College Press NIV Commentary, Psalms, Volume 2, Walter D. Zorn, © 2004, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO.

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