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Hating Evil

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“I, Wisdom, live with insight,

and I acquire knowledge and foresight.

To fear the Lord is to hate evil.

I hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and twisted speech.

Advice and priceless wisdom are mine.

I, Understanding, have strength." (Proverbs 8:12-14 GW)

(Context—Proverbs 8:12-21 GW)


Evil is real and present in our world. Evil is typically characterized as moral vileness or violent and intimidating power. But not all evil is that obvious.

Evil is often more subtle and secretive. It doesn't want to be exposed. It doesn't want to be discovered nor accept responsibility for its own evil nature and actions.

This was a conclusion determined by famed author and psychiatrist, M Scott Peck MD, in his book, "People of the Lie."

It's also what is revealed in the Bible about the first instance of lying and the introduction of sin into the world. The devil appeared to the first humans as a clever talking creature who convinced them to believe a lie—that God was holding out some great thing from them. It was a lie then and still is a lie (Gen 3:1-10).

I've encountered several people who seemed to be good people—morally and spiritually—yet were evil in nature. Some were leaders and Bible teachers in church ministry.

When their true nature revealed itself, it was apparent they loved themselves above all. They didn't fear God.

To fear God isn't to be filled with an anxious fear of Him—it's based on trust and respect. Wisdom hates evil as it says here—

I hate pride, arrogance, evil behavior, and twisted speech. (Prov 8:13 GW)

When a person doesn't fear the Lord, they are filled with pride and arrogance which results in evil behavior and twisted speech—lies and actions based on lies. They avoid responsibility for their own sin and wicked ulterior motives.

The only protection from such evil is to acquire wisdom and insight from God. Here is what Wisdom says—

I love those who love me. Those eagerly looking for me will find me. (Prov 8:17 GW)

Last week, I wrote about Wisdom calling out to us and our need to listen and heed it.

Reflection—

Do you love the wisdom of God? Do you fear God in the biblical sense? God's wisdom is more than able to keep you from falling into evil and give you discernment when you come into the presence of those who are evil in nature.

Prayer Focus—

Pray for discernment daily. Ask God to give you His wisdom for each day and each circumstance and situation you encounter within the day.

©Word-Strong_2018


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Evil and Hated Things

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There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven that are disgusting to him:

arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill innocent people,

a mind devising wicked plans, feet that are quick to do wrong,

a dishonest witness spitting out lies,

and a person who spreads conflict among relatives. (Proverbs 6:16-19 GW)

(Context—Proverbs 6:12-19 GW)


In the ancient world—long before printing presses and the world-wide-web—most people didn't have the opportunity to learn to read and write. Education and literacy were the privilege of the few—mostly the wealthy.

Even today, much of the world's population is non-literate or has limited literacy. God in His great wisdom instructed those who wrote the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:20-21) to write in a memorable way—using stories and parables and poetry with lists, alliteration, illustrations and other forms of figurative language.

Right before these verses, an illustration is given of a person with evil intent who is an example of this list of things God hates. The list is expressed in a way that makes it helpful to remember—

There are six things that the Lord hates, even seven that are disgusting to him:

The numbers reinforce what's contained in the list and the previous verses (Prov 6:12-15) paint a picture of what such a person looks like—

A good-for-nothing scoundrel is a person who has a dishonest mouth. He winks his eye, makes a signal with his foot, ⌊and⌋ points with his fingers.

Looking at the list it's not hard to see why God hates these things—

  1. arrogant eyes— arrogant eyes look down on others with contempt and none of us want to be put down, marginalized, or belittled by anyone.
  2. a lying tongue— someone with a lying tongue can't be trusted—not only what comes out of their mouth but their character.
  3. hands that kill the innocent— when the innocent are killed intentionally, it's a sign of a hardened heart and an untrustworthy person.
  4. mind devising wickedness— again, someone who is devious can't be trusted by anyone—neither their words nor their actions.
  5. feet quick to do wrong— everyone is at risk with someone who displays no restraint and seems bent on doing what's wrong—they're not just self-absorbed but self-destructive.
  6. a dishonest witness— many people have been victimized by those who claim something to be true that isn't—lies, deceit, untrustworthiness cost everyone involved.
  7. someone who stirs up conflict— whether in a family or among friends, when someone is contentious and stirs up conflict everyone suffers for it.

Other people suffer the consequences with all of these things. Think of times when people have looked down on you, lied to you, did you wrong, or stirred up trouble that impacted you. No one wants that, whether it's intentional or not.

Think of those who are the victims of violent crimes and corrupt schemes. This includes the powerless trapped in the conflict of war and the millions of aborted babies who had no say about the end of their life.

God hates and despises these seven things and so do we, especially when we are directly affected by them. If left unchecked, these attitudes and actions become habitual. Guard yourself against doing the same to others!

Reflection—

Which of the things listed here have you been on the wrong end of? Have you found any of these seven hated things in yourself?

Prayer Focus—

As you go throughout each day and week, make a point of asking God to help you not fall into the same pitfalls of these heart attitudes, thinking, and actions.

©Word-Strong_2018


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Whose Water Are You Drinking?

The Bible is anything but boring. It's filled with stories that rival the pop sci-fi, action, adventure, and mystery books and movies of today. Some Scripture is graphic with both sexual and violent encounters that would require ratings for "mature audiences only" if put on a TV or movie screen.

The blunt and honest account of many stories, poetry, and prose found in the Bible confound many. The depravity of people is not sugar-coated. There's no spiritual spin on God's part.

Smoother Than Oil, Bitter As Wormwood

Some advice in Proverbs is pointed. Figurative language is used but the point made is hard to ignore, especially considering the author. King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He knew a thing or two about women (1 Kings 11:3).

Though he was a great king and wise man, his heart was turned away from God to the idolatry of all his wives. He allowed their influence and their desire to rule in his life. So he turned away from the God whom he knew to be true and from the wise truth he spoke and wrote.

Not Hidden

Imagination can open doors of thought that lead to innovations, discoveries, and breakthroughs in many ways never considered. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity came to him while imagining light traveling through the universe.

Realization of a truth can stun and shock us when what becomes known through empirical science goes against long-held beliefs. The circumnavigation of the earth by ship disproved the idea of a flat earth, which was further confirmed by orbiting satellites and astronauts.