Well, that went INCREDIBLY smoothly… mere minutes after Sony detailed their much anticipated PS5 launch date and pricing model the public calmly and patiently waited for their opportunity to purchase one, and in the meantime made a sandwich. Wait… that ISN’T what happened where you live? Oh, that’s right… it was the OTHER THING. That thing where everyone immediately lost their collective minds and raced to their nearest retailer while spamming every online site that could possibly have the ability to reserve a system. As websites crashed and phones starting ringing off the hook, retailers were quickly overwhelmed by the demand as Sony blindsided everyone by making the system available to reserve almost immediately after their press conference had ended. As the panic started to set in I felt this familiar sensation… a sudden and inexplicable need to stock up on toilet paper. I guess that’s what we all default to now when chaos hits.
In retrospect, I suppose this was inevitable. After months of playing chicken on the information super highway, Microsoft finally blinked first and detailed their two new Xbox consoles, setting a chain of events in motion that I doubt they anticipated. Sony countered with two PS5 consoles of their own, hitting the exact same price point with their premium disk-based model that Microsoft had, as well as confirming they would release their system the exact same week. You would think that would be enough shots fired across the bow as we all settle in for an exciting week in November. You would THINK that…. but you would be incorrect. Sony opened up reservations for the PS5 within hours of this announcement, sending shockwaves through a gaming community who was still at work in most parts of the country and now felt a sudden and pressing need to take a sick day (probably just blaming their lunch at Chipotle because NOBODY is challenging that) in order to track a PS5 down somewhere… ANYWHERE.
I would LIKE to say that everyone created peaceful, organized lines and quietly waited their turn to politely inquire as to the availability of a certain PS5 to preorder. I would LIKE to say that people who were lucky enough to snag a reservation only ordered one for themselves instead of snatching as many as they could from as many places as possible for the purpose of reselling them at a higher price. I would LIKE to say that those who arrived a little too late were completely understanding of this incredibly unique, unprecedented, and challenging situation, demonstrating exceptional graciousness in their acceptance of this disappointing result. I would LIKE to say all of those things. But since the Bible has some stern things to say about telling the truth, unfortunately I can’t say any of them. With a lack of defined protocols both the virtual and physical retail spaces quickly devolved into a free-for-all, with some snatching as many as they could while others weren’t even able to react before they were GONE.
Even Sony admitted publicly that this could have gone much, MUCH better, and honestly the only way it could have gone worse is if all of the people who were unable to reserve a system were given a box of raw sewage as a consolation prize. And judging by many of the online reactions from some of the disappointed consumers, maybe some of them DID. Microsoft was quick to troll this rare misstep from Sony, and while the good news is that there are more PS5 systems on their way to a clearly ravenous public, the unfortunate news is that over the last several thousand years it seems that society hasn’t grown any more civilized than we were back in the early Old Testament era… we just have a lot more fancy technology to be uncivilized with. Don’t believe me? Hop into my time-traveling DeLorean and we will explore exactly what I mean…
Humanity has struggled with even the most BASIC of common sense rules from the very beginning. The very first man and woman were given an INCREDIBLY easy set of rules to follow. To be direct… ONE SIMPLE RULE.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Seems pretty easy… but we know what happened there, right? Eve, snake, fruit, Adam… suffice to say even when there was only ONE basic rule for society to live by, we couldn’t handle it. As we continue through the book of Genesis we find murder, theft, kidnapping, slavery… all of the worst elements of humanity were manifested in short order and God had to put a stop to it. In Exodus I am sure we are all familiar with the set of rules known as the “Ten Commandments”, although when you add them all together there were actually a total of 613 “laws” given to the Israelite people to give them guidance on how to function as a society and relate to each other as well as their Creator. Now you would think that amount of structure would suffice… and once again we will find that it was NOT.
Shortly after Moses and his chosen successor Joshua passed away, the Israelite people began a long process of failing to live up to the standards and guidelines the Lord had set for them, resulting in a constant, lengthy lineup of chosen deliverers that the Lord would send to extricate them from their most recent self-inflicted predicament. These “judges” came one right after another, as the rebellious people had to be saved from a fresh misstep shortly after they were pulled out of their most recent moral failure.
Judges 2:16-19 the Lord raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do so. And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
SO what does this have to do with US, and the PS5 madness that we just saw? Ohhhh… just EVERYTHING. Let me explain. Several times in the book of Judges we see the root cause issue of why the people continually jumped from ditch to ditch, either reverting to their previous mistakes or making entirely new ones. Indeed, a few of the most horrifying accounts of man’s depravity recorded in the Bible come from this book. And here are a couple of mirror image verses found in the book of Judges that explain why…
Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Everyone did what was right in their OWN eyes… does that sound familiar? Because unfortunately that is the very heartbeat of moral relativism… the idea that we as people can choose our own level of morality and still find a way to co-exist peacefully with others who may have a very different moral compass. From Cain murdering his brother Abel to the chaos we see all around the world today, society has not CHANGED. We are still murdering our brothers in the streets… we are still doing what is right in our OWN eyes. Thousands of years of supposed “advancement”, and the only difference between then and now is our ability to broadcast the heinousness of our crimes against our own fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers.
This PS5 misfire will eventually settle down, and over the next few years everyone that truly wants one of these systems will find a way to get their hands on one. But we must LEARN something from these lessons or we are doomed to repeat them. Moral relativism and the idea that humanity is inherently good or driven towards order are FLAWED concepts, and anyone can see that now. But as we saw in the books of Genesis and Judges, merely having a list of “commandments” or even ONE simple rule didn’t prevent our descent into failure either. So if both moral relativism and moral absolutism have not gotten us anywhere, what is the answer? I am glad you asked… because the answer is not what, but WHO.
The reality is we can’t DO this. LIFE. We are simply not built to make this work on our own. For goodness sake, we couldn’t even manage our current pandemic situation without buying every yard of toilet paper in the country and fighting about rights vs. privileges. We are as divided as we have ever been, and there is one simple answer. It is not a new president, an old president, anarchy, or any of the other options on the table. Society can not fix this on their own because everyone is simply doing what is right in their OWN eyes. We have proven time and time again that we have a need for ONE moral absolute… we have a need for the structure and grace that only God can give… we have a need to admit that there is only ONE way… and we have PROVEN the NEED for Jesus.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
It is truly as simple and complex as that. We cannot give a love that we don’t possess… regardless of our best intentions the only true love is from God Himself, and only He can provide it for us to give (1 John 4:7-8). We cannot navigate these challenging times we find ourselves in any more than our ancestors thousands of years ago… at least not alone. THIS is why Jesus came… because the Father saw that we could not do this for ourselves. Our version of doing what we think is “right” has only one outcome…
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
There is only ONE way, and it IS Jesus. And if you want to know what He wants us to do, He made is incredibly clear:
Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Just keeping those two commandments is more than any of us have ever been able to accomplish. And that is why Jesus CAME. To live the life that we wouldn’t, to pay the sin debt we couldn’t, and to give us a WAY back to the Father. A WAY to live this life with grace, patience, love, and joy. And not just “A” way… the ONLY way. I know that it can be hard to hear this, because for thousands of years we have tried to do this OUR way. From Adam and Eve wanting “their” way in the garden, to Cain wanting to sacrifice “his” way to God, to the people of Israel wanting the blessings of God in the book of Judges while living life “THEIR” way… these all end in disaster. As a society we have been bent on finding literally ANY way but the one way we have been given to have peace with each other and live a blessed life. This PS5 debacle is behind us, at least for now… but can we learn and grow from this?
Jesus remains the ONLY way to improve our sin-ridden, blood-stained planet. We were engineered for harmony, but can only produce chaos when we are disconnected from the ONLY source of true goodness in this universe. We are like a video game system without access to electricity, unable to achieve our function because we aren’t plugged IN. You cannot plug a PS5 into itself or another PS5 to power it on… that would be foolish. And you can’t plug it in to an apple, a sandwich, a tub of water, a tree, or any other source simply because it would be convenient to do so. This is what we as a society continue to do over and over… plugging ourselves in to whatever “feels right” and wonder why we can’t fix anything. It is only when we plug the game system into the approved power source, the one it was designed for, that the system will come to life and achieve its purpose. And for us there is only one way, one path, and one mediator between God and man. It is Christ Jesus.
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