Is the World's Misery due to Muddle?

We quote from one of the ablest of the English weekly Reviews: "The world has enough and to spare for its children — it daily wastes enough to feed them all — and yet never was the social condition of the world so acute in its pain and poverty."

"The problem, then, is to find out by what readjustments the voice of complaining and the need for complaining may be made to cease from our streets."

A great ex-proconsul, dealing with this question, has said that it was his deepest conviction that 95 percent of the misery of the civilized world is due to muddle. Is it? There could be no more important question.

If the world has enough and to spare for its children, that is God's faithfulness to men as Creator, and He cannot be blamed for the misery that is in it, and the blame must lie at another door. But is the misery caused by muddling of men? If it is, men may in course of time, with the increase of knowledge and experience, and of the many inventions for the production and distribution of the necessities of life, reduce the muddle to order and evolve a millennium of peace and plenty.

But if this were likely, surely some improvement in the conditions would have been manifest ere this, for for centuries men have been working at the problems with more or less earnestness and honesty, yet the considered conclusion of those who ought to know is, that "never was the social condition of the world so acute in its pain and poverty."

We are quite prepared to admit the muddling; but it is not muddle that causes the misery, IT IS SIN, and sin is lawlessness, the refusal on the part of men to be subject to God. This is the terrible root of all the trouble.

Of course, those who refuse to believe the Bible will not believe this and it is very probable that the scouting of the Bible in these days is largely because men would rather believe that it is their muddling and not their sinning that is the cause of the misery; for if it is their muddling, merely, well ignorance only may lie behind that, and as ignorance disappears before advancing knowledge, they may be able by their own efforts to get out of the mess they have made of the world; but if it is their sinning that is the cause of the misery, that is a question that must be settled with God, and from the beginning men have been doing their best to rid themselves of their responsibility towards God.

The Bible flatters none; it shatters the favourite but vain fable of evolution; lays bare the terrible root of all the misery; shows that men have departed from God; that they have lost their Centre, hence their restlessness and discontent, and that they have cast out and crucified the only One who could have put them right. It calls upon men to acknowledge their sins, to repent before God, and to do it NOW, because judgment is surely coming. It tells us that "from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness" (Mark 7:21-22). And these are the cause of the misery, and these things — every one of them, the pride and covetousness as well as the murder and theft — are not muddle but sin; and this is the root of all the trouble; it is the evil that springs from the hearts of men that has made the world what it is; and can the misery be mended and the voice of the complaining hushed unless the root of it all is dealt with? Impossible.

Let no one suppose that those who suffer most in this world are the greatest sinners; it is often not so, though undoubtedly the greatest sinners will suffer the most in the lake of fire, for at the last great judgment they are to be judged every man "according to their works" (Rev. 20:13). We have no intention of charging the poor and suffering with the greater guilt. What we desire to do is to show, in a few words from the Bible, what is the cause of the universal misery, and it is plainly taught there that the world's misery springs from the world's sins, and the fact that it rejected and killed the only One who could have put it right.

Then is there any hope? Yes; for every man a door is opened wide, a door of blessing and salvation. Jesus said, "I am the door; by Me, if any man enter in he shall be saved." But each must come for himself; it must be individual regeneration and salvation, and not social or national. But the world as the world — is there any hope for it? The Bible speaks of nothing but judgment for it — of wrath to come. Search its pages, for there these things are plainly writ. And when the surely and swiftly coming judgment of this world has been executed, then will a new era dawn, for then the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:2) and

"He will bid the whole creation smile
  And hush its groan."

For that day the Christian waits he knows that this is the only way out of the misery, and meanwhile he can confidently bear witness to the fact that the Saviour whom he knows so well is ready to save "whosoever will."