Do you feel lately that you are battling evil around you on a daily basis? It is so draining!
You run to the scriptures for answers to deal with it and you find the rules of love your enemies, pray for your enemies, love everyone. Is this all there is?
You feel like you are bound up in chains and have to accept the evil that is pressing you down. You just have to take it all and turn the other cheek for a good slap on the other side.
I had been getting up to write from 5:00-7:00 a.m., but the battle that I have been facing has made me spend most of those two hours in scripture reading and prayer for the last several weeks. And even then, I can barely make it. I’m hanging on by a thread and feel like my feet are bound in chains… I can’t move forward. Trapped.
So… I ask the Lord questions and then stay right where I’ve been reading in the Bible and look for the answers. Here are some things that I have found interesting.
In the “love chapter” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 everyone always talks about love is patient, kind, not… jealous, boastful, proud, rude, irritable, and keeps no record of being wronged. But verse 6 always seems to be left out. It says: “Rejoiceth not in iniquity (injustice, sin), but rejoiceth in the truth;” (KJV). The NLT version says: “It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.” So is love also about not letting others continue in their sin… but exposing the truth?
Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.” Then Hebrews 10:26-27 says, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth (The truth is Jesus Christ died for our sins so we could be forgiven and have dominion over our sin. See Romans 6), there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and a fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaires.”
Hebrews 10:29-31 says, “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
We always hear that we are to forgive 70×7. The parable relating to this in Matthew 18 shows that the servant pleaded (begged forgiveness) with the King and then refused to forgive when someone pleaded with him. Luke 17:3-4 says: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” I am no authority on scripture but in both of these instances there is a stipulation that we usually don’t see brought out. The one to be forgiven needs to repent. It was pointed out in something that I was reading recently, that God does not forgive unless there is repentance… otherwise Heaven would be full of evil and unsaved people. For myself… I have tried to forgive, even when the person doesn’t ask me for forgiveness, because in the end, I know their sin is against God even if they are affecting me.
Another thought is… when you love those who Hate the LORD and help the wicked, God gets very angry with you. (see 2 Chronicles 19:1-2) It is important not to fall into the sins of others.
Lamentations chapter 2 shows God’s great anger at sin (evil). Here is some of the wording in the NLT version. Use it as commentary. vs. 1 The Lord in his anger; … In his day of great anger; vs. 2 In his anger; vs. 3 His fierce anger; vs. 6 Before his fierce anger; vs. 21 You have killed them in your anger; vs. 21 In the day of the LORD’s anger no one has escaped or survived. Does this make you think maybe God is angry at sin and evil?
After all that… if we wonder about God being loving, remember that love does not rejoice with evil—sin— injustice— but rejoices with truth… see again 1 Corinthians 13:6.
And, if you are on the receiving end of the evil… it is a relief to know that God takes up your cause and is even more angry than you. After all, He gave His Son to stop all the evil and those who keep committing the evil are trampling on the Son of God.
So, when it says to love your enemies and pray for your enemies (see Matthew 5:44) maybe you can do that with your whole heart instead of an offended heart, because you can see the wrath that might be coming on them from the evil they have committed against you. And really… sin is not against us… not really… it is against God and His Son.
And because EVIL is against God, He says:
- “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride arrogancy, and the evil way…” Proverbs 8:13
- “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:…” Psalm 97:10
- “Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate:” Amos 5:15
With all the things going on in the world right now, it is so important to study up on how to deal with evil—evil people— evil ways… how to recognize them, react, and put on your armor.
What verses have you been studying lately in scripture to help you deal with people that are trying to prevent you from speaking out against injustice and sin?
*All scripture quoted is from KJV unless otherwise noted.
I’ve been reading a lot in Proverbs about the behavior of fools. It’s good to compare how a fool is approaching life versus how a righteous person is doing it and make sure I’m following the righteous path. It’s also helpful to know that we don’t argue with fools or we become like them. I think it’s healthy to at least be able to label patterns of behavior as foolish so we know what we’re dealing with and how to handle the behavior accordingly. I really enjoyed this post. Such an encouragement to run to the Scriptures to help us solve our problems.
Thanks Allison, You made some excellent points from Proverbs.Labeling patterns of behavior as foolish is called discernment. Hebrews 3:13 says we are to warn each other (fellow Christians) so we will not be deceived by sin and harden our hearts against God. And Galatians 6:1 lets us know that when we are helping someone caught in sin, we have to be extremely cautious with ourselves to make sure we don’t fall into the same sin. That’s where the discernment comes in… if we can’t recognize the wrong behavior, we can so easily fall into the same thing. And if someone decides not to listen when we share scriptures to show what they are doing wrong…then we’re back to the Proverbs… and should not even try to tell them ie. don’t cast your pearls before swine.:)
Thank you for posting this Jane. I read it yesterday and really couldn’t think of anything to say other than thanks, so I closed the tab without commenting. This morning I read my devotion from Colossians 2:8. “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.” It hit me that evil doesn’t have to look evil. It could be the subtle encouragement by Satan to do things our way. Evil draws our attention away from Christ to something or someone else (often ourselves). Thanks for the encouragement.
You’re welcome Tim. I love the Colossians 2:8 verse. You’re right, it could be the “subtle encouragement by Satan to do things our way”. Or it could also be that we are following the rules of the world instead of scripture. Mark 7:6-9 addresses both of these ideas, “…This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men,…Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” Mark 7:13 says, “And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition….” I have recently been encouraged by the Lord to pour myself into studying the scripture. I have been shown — if I don’t know it strongly, I will be easily led by something that sounds good but does not even come from scripture.
Thank you for the well-thought-out blog. I know that God hates sin in any form, and repentance is necessary for His forgiveness. So thankful He forgives. Also very thankful He fights my battles for me.