Three Great Human Tragedies


There have been many human tragedies throughout our history, but the greatest of these must be when God’s greatest creation, that is mankind, Genesis 1:27, turns their back on God and His ways. In this study, we will examine three of these great tragedies.

1. Men have turned to idols instead of the one true God.

There are over six billion people living on this earth. About one-third worship false lifeless idols. When Noah and his family came off the ark after the flood all eight believed in the one true God of heaven, 1 Peter 3:20.

They understood who He was and what He could do when disobeyed. The first thing Noah did was to erect an altar and worship God, Genesis 8:20.

But men wanted a god that would be tangible, one they could see and touch. Thus, it was not long before men began to carve out idols out of wood and stone to be worshipped instead of the true God, Jeremiah 10:3-5 / Acts 14:15. Paul describes this great tragedy in Romans 1:21-23.

The very first command God gave to Israel when they came out of the Egyptian bond was, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3. In spite of all the miracles God used to rescue His people from the Egyptians, Exodus 7-12, Israel would become an idolatrous nation.

Even as Moses went up on the mountain to receive their law from the one true God the people were building a golden calf to worship and Aaron was the one who fashioned it, Exodus 32:1-6.

This is almost unbelievable. Secretly they carried their gods with them throughout the 40 years of wandering. It was not until after the Babylonian captivity, did they cease to worship their idols.

Often God punished them severely for their idolatry, but it did not stop them from their idolatry. God’s prophets were constantly sent to preach repentance, Ezekiel 14:6.

Then there was Solomon. A man who sought wisdom and was richly rewarded with it. Yet his foreign wives turned his heart to worship false idols, 1 Kings 11:4-9. We stand amazed.

Paul writes, “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9. The word “Godhead” is the same as the word “Godhood.” This refers to the state, condition, and quality of God.

Within this one divine essence, one substance, one being, there are three separate, distinct persons. They are not three gods but one God. First, there is “God the Father” in John 6:27. Second, there is God the Son. Christ is called God in 1 John 20.  Third, is God the Holy Spirit is also called God, Acts 5:3-4.

Paul warns covetousness is idolatry, Colossians 3:5. This is a large part of today’s problems. The love of money and material things has become the God that we now worship, Matthew 6:24.

2. The Jews’ Rejection Of Christ.

This is amazing. They were God’s own chosen people, Deuteronomy 7:6. These are the people God gave special attention to, Exodus 19:6. They had every imaginable blessing bestowed on them. They were given guidance, protection, and the forgiveness of their sins.

They had the temple where they could carry out their spiritual responsibilities, 1 Kings 9:1-23. Finally, the greatest blessing of all. God sent His is only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to offer them salvation and eternal life, John 3:16.

In spite of 300 prophesies that spoke of His coming they still rejected Him, Genesis 3:15 / Matthew 1:16 / John 10:22-42 / Galatians 4:4.

In spite of all the miracles, signs and wonders they witnessed, they stubbornly refused to believe in Him, Matthew 12:1-14 / Matthew 12:22-37. They mocked him, Luke 23:35-43, abused him, Matthew 27:29, and finally demanded His crucifixion, Matthew 27:16-26.

The evidence of who Jesus was, was very clear, 2 Peter 1:16, but they stubbornly refused to believe. Stephen who is described as being “full of the faith and of the Holy Spirit,” Acts 6:5, who “did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people”, Acts 6:8, delivered a great sermon before the Sanhedrin.

At the conclusion, he said, “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit!” Acts 7:51. What does it mean to be “stiff-necked”?

3. Christians Turned Back To Their Old Ways.

Peter writes, “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: The dog returns to his own vomit, and, the sow that had washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22-23.

These are not pretty words, but this is the way they are described.

I have known of faithful members to do this. I have known of elders, deacons, and yes, even preachers, turn their backs on the Lord and leave his blood-bought church. I have been shocked, disheartened, and saddened. It is only natural that we ask, why?

In most cases, it did not happen overnight. It was probably a series of events. Some are just never really converted. In the parable of the Sower some seed fell on rocky soil, Matthew 13:5 / Mark 4:16. It could never get its roots down deep enough. There are Christians like that.

The soil with the thorns represents the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches which cause many to quit, Mark 4:18-19. Demas a fellow labourer with Paul deserted Paul because he “loved this present world.” 2 Timothy 4:10.

Often, we blame our unfaithfulness on others. Something they said or did made us bitter and because of their association with the church, we decided to give up. No group had a more difficult time than the early Christians.

John admonishes them, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10.

Jesus warns that within families there would be opposition to their faith. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 10:21-22.

Paul is one of those who faced severe tests of his faith but toward the end of his life, he wrote the following words.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day; and not to me only, but also to all who have loved his appearing.”


Where are you in relation to what we have just studied? How is your relationship with God going?

I pray that we all continually turn our backs on idolatry and continue to serve the One true God, Isaiah 42:8.

I pray that we will never reject Christ no matter how challenging our lives become, James 1:2-4.

I pray that we will never turn back to our old ways before we became Christians, 1 Peter 4:3.