Tag Archives: evil

Wicked Uprooted

Proverbs 2:20-22

“That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous. For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.”

Getting to the Root

Verse 22 offers a picture of trees being pulled out by their roots. Yet roots are notoriously difficult to remove, particularly if a tree is substantial and has been established for a long time. Evil is a tree that has become deeply rooted in society, and in the world in general.

While it is easy to get frustrated about the abundance of evil in our world, it is even more frustrating when we look back because it seems as if nothing has changed with time. Three thousand years ago the writers of the Psalms struggled with the prosperity of the wicked.

In Psalm 73 verse 3 Asaph declares, “For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” But David in Psalm 37 teaches us not to envy the wicked stating in verse 2: “For they shall soon be cut down like the grass and wither as the green herb.”

What Kind of Tree are You?

Make no mistake. Not just the evil, but also all who choose not to surrender their lives to God will be uprooted, extracted, removed. There will be no place for them in the New Heaven and Earth described in the Book of Revelation. But how do we walk in the way of good men and keep the paths of the righteous, so that we will not meet the fate of the wicked? Psalm 37 gives some pointers:

  • Trust in the Lord and do good (verse 3).
  • Delight thyself also in the Lord (verse 4).
  • Commit thy way unto the Lord (verse 5).
  • Rest in the Lord (verse 7).
  • Wait patiently for Him (verse 7).
  • Cease from anger, and forsake wrath (verse 8).

And you will be like a different type of tree, as described in the first three verses of the very first Psalm:

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV).

Do your roots reach into the Living Water (John 4:10-14)?

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The Evil Man

Proverbs 2:13-15 

“Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:”

Walking with “The Evil Man”

In these verses, we see that God is warning us against “the evil man”. This man is a very dangerous man because he wants to lead the children of God away from Him. He wants to change their path of life. The Bible tells us that the evil man is known for his perverse words (v.12).

This “evil man” is out to destroy God’s people. He “rejoices to do evil and delights in the frowardness of the wicked”. We can see that this man is part of the crowd that Solomon was talking about in Proverbs 1:10-19.

As I was reading this passage, I was trying to think of a reference or story that would clearly show a picture of a “evil man” and I thought and I thought and then it hit me – what better picture to show than of the ultimate “evil” person in the Bible – the devil. In Genesis, we see how the devil loves evil. We can clearly see how he wants to get God’s people off track and take them off the “paths of uprightness“. When he was talking with Adam & Eve, he was deliberately trying to get them to go against what God had told them. He was trying to lead them astray and get them to forsake the path that God had laid out for them. He was loving every minute of his deceitfulness!

Folks, these types of people are cunning. We can see this by looking at verse 15 – “Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths“. The ESV says verse 15 this way, “men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways“.

The Take-Away

We can learn two very important things from these verses:

1. We need to be praying to God for wisdom and understanding

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” – James 1:5 ESV

2. The more wisdom we obtain the more we will fear God (Proverbs 1:7) and the more we will be able to see “the evil man” when he comes our way.

We must be in God’s Word every day and be a person that is always seeking the wisdom of God. When we walk in the way of wisdom, we will be able to identify “the evil ones” and avoid them.

“Lord, help us to seek after you each day and prepare our ears, heart and voices to accept your understanding, AMEN”


They Turned

Proverbs 1:31-33

Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

As we have learned over the past several days, a fool turns away from God and wisdom. They essentially repent of God. They may have logic and reason, but do they have wisdom?

Turning from Wisdom

The “New Atheists” of today (such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris) are indeed very intelligent. However, they tend to be rather mean-spirited in their attacks on religion and faith, and in the process fail to see their own hypocrisy. They, too, work on faith in many things, for humanity does not yet have all of the answers. They need faith that everything they claim as truth is true or that we will verify them as true in the future.

Another group of those who have turned away from God are criminals of all sorts. There are many criminals who are very intelligent, yet the evidence of the lack of wisdom is that they commit crimes. One of the greatest examples of intelligent criminals is Leopold and Loeb. These two young friends (who graduated college young) were 19 and 18, respectively, when they decided to commit the perfect crime. They kidnapped and killed Loeb’s 14-year-old second-cousin Bobby Franks. The only physical problem with their crime was that Leopold accidentally dropped his custom-made eyeglasses where they left the body. In other words, they were eventually caught. With all of their intelligence, they lacked the wisdom to not commit any crimes.

Consequences

Turning away from wisdom and God is not only dangerous, it has dire consequences. Whether it is dealing with hurt feelings, broken relationships, jail/prison time, or any other consequence, there are always consequences. The worst, by far, is eternal condemnation.

Father, forgive us when we fail to seek your wisdom and heed Your call. Help us remember to pray for those who do not know You, and give us the wisdom  to know how to interact with all people. We thank You that took the ultimate consequence upon Yourself through the cross for those of us who believe. We praise You and pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


Enticing Trap

Proverbs 1:10-19

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. (11) If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: (12) Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: (13) We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: (14) Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: (15) My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: (16) For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. (17) Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. (18) And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives. (19) So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

We Were Sneaky

When my brother and I were children, we had this nasty tendency to take anything we wanted. My brother would put candy from the grocery store in his diaper. I would just eat the candy I grabbed (not from his diaper!). Our parents tried as hard as they could to get us to not take things that were not ours.

As I grew older, I wanted to be a spy. Therefore, I worked on ways of being extra sneaky, and this sometimes meant taking things I either wanted or thought would be difficult to get away with taking. Sometimes, my brother and I would work together. Sometimes I would entice friends to help.

Almost every time we got caught. There are consequences to all of our actions. We all must one day stand before the Judge.

Don’t Consent

There is another way to look at this passage than simply stealing things and inflicting bodily harm on others.

Whenever we allow others to tell us “Do not concern yourself with them,” even for prayer or offering a helping hand or just a shoulder to cry on, we are consenting to sinful enticement. We are commanded to love all people and help as we are able.

Whenever we do or say things to fit in with other people, we are casting in our lot with sinners.

Whenever we skip tithing or offering to avoid an inconvenience or get something we want, we are not only stealing from God, we hastily shed the blood of our Savior and lay wait for our own blood.

With God, every time we get caught. There are consequences for all of our actions. Yet, the Author of Life has made a way for us.

Choose life. Choose love. Choose God.

We all must one day stand before the Judge. May it be wholly as His redeemed.

Holy God, lead us in Your way, and give us the strength to resist temptation and hatred. Give us Your wisdom, in Jesus’ name.

 


Is it evil or just bad?

Image result for bad people

King Solomon has some wisdom for me. It is about “evil” or bad people.

God is love (1 John 4:8); the absence of love in a person is un-God-like and therefore evil. And an absence of love manifests itself in unloving behavior. I like to think I am a “good person”. I like to believe the best about others.

Don’t envy evil people; don’t even want to be around them. All they think about is causing a disturbance; all they talk about is making trouble.

~King Solomon Source: Proverbs 24:1-2

I must consider God’s mercy, justice, patience, etc. The lack of these godly qualities in anyone constitutes evil. That evil then manifests itself in behavior that is unmerciful, unjust, impatient, etc., bringing more harm into the good world that God has made.

As it turns out, we lack a lot: “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’” (Romans 3:10).

  • How does it start? It starts with envy. It is that simple. Maybe it is their wealth or maybe it is their popularity. It is very subtle.
  • What is Gods’ goal for me? God wants me to hang out with good people, his chosen people. Jesus is clear in his mission.
  • Why is God’s goal important? If I hang out with bad people, their influence will rub off on me. They are nothing but trouble.
  • How could things be worse? There are bad people and there are evil people. Evil people are destined for God’s justice. Elsewhere in Proverbs we read that “Good people celebrate when justice triumphs, but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.” (Proverbs 21:15)


Because We Mess(ed) Up

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord. -Proverbs 19:3 KJV

“How could a good God allow …”

This is how a popular accusation against the existence of God starts. Sometimes there are specifics (“… my son to die?”), but generally it is more general (“… evil to happen?”)

My question was “Why didn’t He stop me from making that stupid choice?”

In each of these, we are angry with God for something happening to us or to someone we love (or for evil in general).

The Thing We Fail To Understand

The root of all of this evil starts with our own human nature, with all of our boneheaded or uninformed decisions.

Boneheaded because we know better but want something now or in spite of reason.

Uninformed because of assumptions we make without all of the facts or plain ignorance.

However, it all goes back to our ultimate parents: Adam and Eve. Yes, we inherited this sinful (rebellious) nature.

But the failure to understand comes in how this applies to a good God.

The thing is, God created us with free will. It is tainted by sin, but we are still free moral agents.

This freedom to rebel against God is what allows us to freely love Him, but it also means that more often than not we choose rebellion.

And God lets the natural consequences play out.

(Still within His control, mind you.)

Why does God allow evil and sad things? Because He loves us enough to let us choose that which causes evil, but He is also just.

Death, pain, and natural disasters are a result of our ultimate parents’ sin, but we perpetuate and exacerbate the problem with our own sin.

He does intervene from time to time, but ask yourself this:

Would you want to help people who constantly complain and blame you for what others have done?

Why should we expect God to ever help us?

(The short answer: because of the grace poured out through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.)


There Is No Real Debate: God Reigns

The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. -Proverbs 16:4, KJV

We could get into a debate over predestination, how people become Christians, and God’s involvement with evil.

(These debates happen regularly, everyday.)

But something that should be agreed on is that God is in control. He created all things, and all things were created to bring glory to Himself.

Even the evil people and horrible events (natural and man-made) are under His purview and ultimate control.

He is not surprised by what is happening, and He can use it all to bring about His purposes.

There is no real debate: the Creator reigns over His creation.