“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.” (KJV).
Worse Than a Horror Movie:
No, today’s devotional isn’t a commentary or review of the latest terrible Hollywood horror film. The title is based on a combination of today’s Scripture, which talks about evil men, and a New Testament Bible verse that says that before we come to Christ, we are “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). The evil dead. What a terrible state to be in!
What is evil? A simple dictionary definition tells us that evil is anything morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the world we’re living in is full of evil people. Turn on the TV, read the newspaper, or watch the movies, and you will see story after story filled with lying, stealing, cheating, murder, rape, terrorism and war.
In today’s Proverb, Solomon teaches us two things about evil. In the first verse, he tells us how we should respond to evil people, and in the second verse, he tells us what evil people do. I’m going to start with the second verse.
The Nature of the Evil Dead:
In Proverbs 24:2, Solomon teaches us two things about evil people: Their heart studies destruction, or plots violence. They are always looking for ways to destroy or harm others. Eugene Peterson paraphrases this verse thusly, “All they think about is causing a disturbance” (The Message).
In addition to their evil schemes, their lips talk of mischief – making trouble. Not only do they do bad things themselves, but they are always trying to get others to sin as well. Lying, gossiping, and stirring up strife; cursing, name calling and more. Do you know anyone like that? How should we deal with these kinds of people? Verse one gives us the answer:
Our Response to the Evil Dead:
The first thing the Bible tells us to do is to not envy evildoers. There’s something about our society that – especially in the secular media – likes to glamourize evil and sin. People say, “Ooh, he’s such a bad boy,” like that’s a good thing. However, God tells us that we shouldn’t envy evil people. No matter how cool or fun the world makes evil look!
Secondly, God warns us against wanting to be with them. First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” If you hang around with evil people, they will negatively influence your behaviour, and impact your relationship with God. Does this mean we can’t build relationships with non-Christians for the sake of leading them to Christ? Of course not. But look at your closest circle of friends, because whatever they are like – good, bad or ugly; living or dead – you will become!