Truth On Fire

Site Search:

P.O. Box 432    |    Spring Hill, TN  37174    l    (904) 200-1671

Home  |  Gospel  |  Pastor's Pen  |  Doctrinal  |  Calvinism  |  About

A Perspective on Greatness

Students of scripture understand the “First Mention” rule of interpretation. That is, when the Spirit of God introduces a word in scripture for the first time, the significance attached to it by the context tends to extend to every other instance of the word. Consider the word “great” as found early on in the inspired text. Its first usage is in Genesis 1:16, where it is said: “God made two GREAT lights.” So when God says something is “great” he provides a point of reference or sense of scale for that greatness. Its second usage comes a few verses later: “God created GREAT whales” (1:21). The whale is the largest oceanic creature and provides a sense of scale to the idea of greatness. 

We now come to its third usage in Genesis 6:5: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was GREAT in the earth.” In its first two usages, we find two GREAT (massive) heavenly bodies and GREAT (massive) fish. When scripture speaks of GREAT wickedness, how massive that wickedness must have appeared in the sight of God?! It was so pervasive that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” The collective corruption of the minds of men (their thought lives) produced equally corrupt behavior. As men think in their hearts, so they act out those thoughts (Proverbs 23:7). The origin of every wicked act is a wicked thought!

The Hebrew word for “wickedness” is rah, meaning “bad, evil, disagreeable, malignant.” It so happens the first biblical mention of “wickedness” is in 6:5. The BAD state of the minds of men and their wicked behavior stands in stark contrast to all the GOOD God built into his creation (Genesis 1:4; 1:10; 1:12; 1:18; 1:25; 1:25; 1:31). It took just about 1,400 years for man to corrupt totally everything God had made good. But such is the malignant nature of sin. Can you imagine how Adam—the man by whom sin entered the world—must have felt to witness during his 930 years of life the steady degradation of mankind into a state of GREAT wickedness? How many times do you suppose Adam might have asked, “O God, what did I do?!” with the memory of Eden's bliss and sweet divine communion still etched in his mind.

It seems only fitting then that in Genesis 7:11 we find the fourth usage of “great” to describe the divine response to the GREAT wickedness of man in the form of the Flood: “All the fountains of the GREAT deep [were] broken up, and the windows of the heaven were opened.” The GREAT (massive) deep is a reference to all the subterranean waters around the globe. God had a massive answer to the massive wickedness of mankind, which exceeded the wickedness of man in its massiveness. In Isaiah 53:6, the scripture says: “The LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The sum total of ALL our iniquity includes the great wickedness of Noah's day as well as ALL the iniquity of both Israel and the Gentiles through ALL the ages. What does this say about the massive weight of wickedness Jesus bore on the Cross of Calvary for man's iniquities? Moreover, what does it say about the divine strength of Jesus the God-Man, who alone was able to bear that massive burden on our behalf? 

It would be wise for us to keep in mind the biblical usage of “great” when hearing “Make America Great Again!” What does it matter when men applaud the greatness of America as the “Most Economically Competitive Nation on Earth Again” when God sees the greatness of America in terms of its wickedness? Whatever 'greatness' men may think America has achieved under President Trump, virtually NOTHING has transpired to diminish its GREAT wickedness—murder on demand via abortion, godless curricula, homosexuality, transgenderism, lies and deception in our politics, hate, violence, murder, fornication, pornography, destruction of the family, et al. 

The antidote for America’s GREAT wickedness lies in the GREAT suffering of the Lord Jesus for our sins, an event accompanied by “GREAT drops of blood falling to the ground" in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44), a “GREAT stone” that sealed his tomb (Matthew 27:60), a “GREAT earthquake” that rolled back the stone at his resurrection (28:2) and “GREAT joy” in those who learned he was alive from the dead (28:8). For every GREAT stone set by men to restrain the glory of Christ, there exists a GREATER divine power to release it!

God set a rainbow in the sky as a sign he would never again Flood the earth as he did in Noah’s day. But I cannot help but believe all the natural disasters America is now experiencing are somehow related to the greatness of its wickedness!


Copyright and Contact Statement