I looked up a song from the 60’s that came to mind this morning. “What the World Needs Now,” lyrics by Hal David, sung by Jackie DeShannon. It is a pretty song. It came out in 1965. America’s involvement in Viet Nam was ramping up. The Civil Rights Movement was ramping up. Things were getting a little crazy at times, and about to get worse. The song proclaimed, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
I noticed the comments below the YouTube video of the song. Many, many comments from 2020 saying the song is still as relevant as it was then, love is exactly what the world needs. And that is true.
However, love is a lot like gratitude. If you don’t understand where it comes from and to whom it is directed, it’s a nice sentiment, and it will do some good, but it will fall far short of all that it was meant to be, or ever could be.
If you listen to the lyrics, it really is a beautiful song. It even says “Lord” in it, so that it is like a prayer. As such it really is meaningful. Oh, that today people would really cry out to God for more of His love to be poured out in our world.
I do not know the intent of Hal David when he wrote the lyrics, so please understand, I’m not knocking him or the song. My concern is with our culture, then and now. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, what I observed then, and still see today, is that people were singing and talking about love, and the love they were looking for, proclaiming, and giving was all surface level, hugs, kisses, free love, sex, be nice, feel good, care about others, human effort, kind of love. The “Lord” was pretty much left out of it.
Even in this song, which became somewhat of an anthem of the age, the lyric says, “Lord, we don’t need another mountain. There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb…. Lord, we don’t need another ocean. There are oceans and rivers enough to cross….”
It’s like a lot of things in our culture, it latches on to a concept that is good, and then misses the whole point of it proclaiming some absurdity that sounds wonderful in a way that people just fall in love with it. Many, many of the memes we see on social media are like that. Many are based on a scriptural idea, or even a specific Bible verse, but wind up with a pop psychology conclusion that just sounds so good, and totally leads people astray.
We don’t need another mountain, or ocean, or hillside, or river, or sunbeam, or moonbeam, or meadow. What we need is to understand the significance of the mountains and oceans and hillsides and rivers and sun and moon and other things that exist. These things, to most of us, came to be through some weird, random, pure chance, evolutionary process where some chemical reaction somehow took place out of some eternally existing set of chemicals in the first place and accidentally came together with the right energy and ingredients for everything that is to somehow come to be and began a process of randomly turning into what it is today. And scientists, who insist that everything must be observable and provable or disprovable in order to be true, and who never observed or were able to duplicate and prove or disprove this evolutionary process, insist that it is fact, on the basis that they didn’t observe creation, and can’t see, prove or disprove the existence of a creator-God.
Scientists insist facts must be observable, provable or disprovable; never observed, can't duplicate, prove or disprove evolutionary process; but deny the existence of a Creator-God, because they can't see, prove or disprove Him. Click To Tweet
The real game changer would be for us to realize that the mountains, hillsides, oceans, rivers, meadows, sunbeams and meadows, and galaxies and black holes and atoms and quarks and people and animals and plants and everything else that exists all testify to the existence of a magnificent, intelligent, loving, creative God. Rather than telling Him what we do or don’t need more of, we desperately need to be honoring Him and thanking Him for all that He is and all that He does. We desperately need to see and believe that He loves us, and that His love alone can accomplish the changes in each of us as individuals that are needed to accomplish the changes that are needed in our society.
Only God's love can accomplish the changes in each of us as individuals that are needed to accomplish the changes that are needed in our society. Click To Tweet
When men refuse to see God as God, and refuse to honor Him as God, and cease to be thankful to Him, they turn to alternatives. They have to come up with some other explanation for things. So, in their “vain” [empty] imaginations, they come up with other explanations which whether in religions or rejection of religion, focus on creation itself. Whether their explanations are spiritualistic, humanistic or scientific, they began to “worship” and honor the creation instead of the creator, and He let’s them go. This is something in itself that should make us realize the depth of God’s love, and hence, the existence of God, since one of our favorite absurd memes is “if you love something, let it go.”
The result of our going away from God is all the hatred, and anger, and vitriol, and immorality, and lust, and abuse, and murder, and greed, and racism, and violence, and disrespect, and…. So, what the world needs now is love, sweet love. And the cutesy, sweet love we think we need is woefully insufficient to deal with the evil we have settled for.
The cutesy, sweet love we think we need is woefully insufficient to deal with the evil we settled for when we chose humanism over God. Click To Tweet