Romans 1:21 “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

     How can you know God and not glorify Him as God?  How can you know His blessings and not be thankful?  And who are they? What will they become?

    The Apostle Paul is writing about those who suppress the truth about God and of God; “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.” (Romans 1:18,19) ‘They’ is people who know better but don’t want any part of the truth. When you don’t want any part of the truth your mind invents lies to believe that are more appealing to your carnal nature.

     Since beauty always has an author, natural beauty should speak to mankind about God;s existence as loudly as the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-22) to a mind willing to hear the message.  Paul argues that though the specific intentions of God might not be as clear without revelation certainly His handiwork speaks to His larger attributes; “The object of the apostle was not to say that every thing pertaining to God could be known by them, or that they could have as clear a view of him as if they had possessed a revelation. . . but that they knew enough to Proverbs that they had no excuse for their sins.” (Barnes’ Notes)

     So whether you are growing in a covenant relationship with God or whether you know His works in the natural universe –  you do know Him partially.  And the degree of intimacy you have with Him depends on your partiality to the knowledge of Him you have.  No one is excused.  Today we have the Gospel clearly laid out and available to all.  We all make the choice and many hide in darkness; “. . . the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:19,20)

     And here we have the answer to the first two questions.  You can know God and not glorify Him as God.  The demons do this and so do those who love darkness because their deeds are evil.  You can know His blessings and not be thankful.  Jesus told us; “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)  All of humanity receives good things from God.  Some are grateful, many are not.  Many turn away and have since the beginning.  Decline sets in and grows and grows.  

     Since the fall, humanity has hidden from God and turned away from His truth; “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10)  Before the great flood mankind was wicked beyond measure; “. . . the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5)  And Jesus told us in Person; “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah” (Matthew 12:39)

     Decline is the outcome of turning away from God.  History chronicles this decline.  Current events document the decline as it continues today.  Desperate and hopeless people march to its tune – downward and ever downward.  If the leaders of the world in the past had any wisdom that could turn things around the world would be a far better place and not the ‘hell hole’ it is for a vast majority of people;  “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: ‘He catches the wise in their craftiness'” (1 Corinthians 3:19).

     In individuals, the decline is evident in hard hearts, pride and love of self; “. . . There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)  This is us and those of us it isn’t could so easily slide into it.

     The Forerunner commentary says; “Rather than following truth, man rejects the knowledge of God. He willingly turns a blind eye to His creative powers, and instead, in his mind, replaces the faultless and perfect God with frail, perishable organisms: man, birds, reptiles, etc. He is willing to elevate almost anything above the true God. And God allows this! In essence, He says, ‘If this is the way of life you choose, fine. Its consequences you bring upon yourselves!’ The results are given in verses 24-25.”  God gives mankind the freedom to live in our own filth; “God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator . . . ” (Romans 1:24,25)

     Idolatry doesn’t arise out of ignorance.  Rather it arises out of disobedience and the decline that comes with it.  Go against history and the march of man’s ‘progress’!  Stick with the truth.  Abide in it; “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:19-21)

     Praise the Lord!