24) By faith, Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25) choosing rather to share ill treatment with God's people than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a time, 26) considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked to the reward.Hebrews 11:24-26 (WEB)3) You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4) No soldier on duty entangles himself in the affairs of life, that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.2 Timothy 2:3-4 (WEB)
Consider the incredible dignity of mankind, created in God’s image, a reflection of his awesome character, worth, and glory, created to walk upright, think intelligently, care for creation, serve one another, and demonstrate loving kindness and compassion. Yet consider the depravity to which we have fallen. God created us for his good pleasure intending us to take pleasure in his goodness, but we have made pleasure our god and lost all goodness.
he⋅don⋅ism pronunciation: [heed-n-iz-uhm] part of speech: noun
1. The doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good.
2. Devotion to pleasure as a way of life.
The later Roman emperors were notorious for their hedonism.
Unbelievers in our day know no shame. If there ever was a day that hedonism was scorned as base, it is no longer. The unscrupulous marketers of sin no longer hide their shame in dark of night, but revel in light of day with public websites and resorts brazenly named ‘Hedonism.’ An associate of mine once boasted about spelunking in one of these lust lairs with no apparent qualm of conscience. The dignity of upright man intended to carry faithfulness and honor has been reduced to the equal of savage animals crawling on the ground. Typically we are safe from dangerous animals because they are fearful of civilization. But when wild animals roam the streets in open daylight flashing their teeth and advertising their loathsome squalor one thing is certain. Get your women and children off the streets and load your spiritual weapons for bear because rabid and ravenous beasts are on the prowl.
Yet this is nothing new. The ancient writings of the Christian Scriptures confronted the worst of wickedness in their day and in ours. Paul warned godly men that there will be, “... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also” (II Timothy 3:4b-5 WEB). That is the counsel of Scripture.
All of this yucky stuff is only mentioned so that God’s people can lay proper claim to the true position of pleasure. David, the man after God’s own heart, sings in Psalm 16:11 (WEB), “You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy. In your right hand there are pleasures forever more.”
Pleasure is created by God and is at the prominent position of God’s almighty right hand. But hedonists shovel pleasure into their smeared faces with both right and left hands serving their god. Ascetics deny God’s goodness forsaking pleasure, cutting off His right hand in the effort to get closer to Him. Yet the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks the simple question, “What is the chief end of man?” Do God’s people still remember the answer? “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” We are created for God’s pleasure to take pleasure in Him and His creation giving thanks to Him!
This hope moved Moses, Paul, and Timothy.
How does it move you?