Read: Job 29-31
Marked: Job 30:26, But when I looked for good, evil came [to me;] And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
If we are wise we don’t go looking for trouble. Yet, as much as we try to avoid it trouble finds us. How do we respond?
We can fight it or retaliate giving evil for evil. But more evil against us can be the result and then we escalate. No one wins the battle of evil. Paul said, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17). And in verse 21 he says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Jesus taught not to resist an evil person (Matthew 5:39) and in Luke 6:35 said, love your enemies, do good, even lend, and expect nothing in return.
Walking in the way of the Lord is not easy. But neither was going to the cross for sinners such as we. We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).
Read: Judges 10-12
Marked: Judges 10:6, Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the people of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.
God raised up successive judges to judge Israel and turn them back to the Lord. But time and time again Israel would turn away doing evil in the sight of the Lord and God allowed their enemies to prevail.
They would learn their lesson for a while, but then turn again to following after the false religions and practices of the surrounding nations forsaking God and not serving Him.
I must learn to hold fast to God and His word Is there anyone as faithful as the Lord? Will I forsake Him and turn to other means or methods?
All I need is supplied by God according to His riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Why would I look elsewhere? My task is simple; trust the Lord, obey His Word, and not lean on anything or anyone that the world has to offer.
God has provided all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called me by glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3). And that’s enough.
Read: Exodus 22-24
Marked: Exodus 23:2, “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert [justice.]”
We all want to belong, but we should be careful who we belong to, and who we follow. Adam followed Eve in disobedience to God and into sin.
The behaviour of a crowd is sometimes different from the normal behaviour of the individuals within it. Social scientists call this mob psychology and studies show that individual responsibility is often lost and decreases proportionately to the size of the crowd.
It is said there is strength in numbers. But given the right circumstances moral weakness is amplified in a crowd. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reminds me that evil company corrupts good habits.
When I am turned aside by a crowd to pervert justice and follow populate opinion, or a false report, then I sin.
Read: Proverbs 24-26
Marked: Proverbs 24:11, Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.
Isn’t this the purpose of the gospel, the Good News? It’s the power of God to salvation (Romans 1:16).
There is evil in the world and I am confounded, at times, dealing with it. But in God’s word I find the comfort, strength, and knowledge that God will deal with it so I don’t have to.
My role, as His child, is to warn others and encourage those drawn to death to set their evil desires aside and keep them from stumbling to the slaughter.
As James 5:20 says, “…he who turns a sinner from the error of his ways will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
Read: Zechariah 8-14
Marked: Zechariah 8:17, Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”
These days it seems people don’t think twice about having ill thoughts towards their neighbours. If they don’t think and act like other people then they’re deserve abusive words or worse.
God also warns about taking false oaths. The word oath can mean promise or curse. Today, some curse their neighbours. But worse than that there are those who call themselves Christians yet are antagonist against other people.
1 John 4:20 reminds us if we say we love God yet hate our brother, then we don’t really love God. God judges even our thoughts.
Read: Nahum 1-3; Habakkuk 1-3
Marked: Nahum 1:3, The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, And will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way In the whirlwind and in the storm, And the clouds are the dust of His feet.
I have heard people say, “If there’s a God, why does He let evil happen?”
This verse tells me the answer. God is slow to anger. I am grateful He is because He gave me time to come to know Him and repent of the evil I have committed
He may be slow to anger but that doesn’t mean He will not deal with evil and sin. He will not acquit the wicked. If there is no repentance there will be no forgiveness.
Unless one turns to a Christ there will be no acquittal. Even as He controls the whirlwind and the storm, so will He hold the guilty accountable. Such is His power. But He is slow to use it.
Read Jeremiah 10-13.
Marked: Jeremiah 12:1, Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
The question Jeremiah asks of God is a question that has been asked by thinking men throughout history.
There is no easy answer, but I believe the answer is found in the opening statement made by Jeremiah, “Righteous are You, O Lord.”
Because God is righteous there must be a purpose to allowing the wicked to prosper and the treacherous to be happy. In the evil committed in the world, the righteousness of God is seen more clearly and becomes the desire of men who seek Him
Read: Isaiah 59-63
Marked: Isaiah 59:7, Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts [are] thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
We have the word of truth, but if we run after questionable things, conspiracies and the like, are we not running after evil? Are we not making haste to shed innocent blood by dwelling on things which are impossible to verify? Those things which call into question the integrity of another by suggesting they are lying?
Filling out thoughts with the word of men instead of the pure Word of God leads us quickly to iniquity, which is wasteful and destructive.
Consider Paul’s admonition in Philippians 4:8 and meditate on whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous, and praiseworthy.
Read: 1 Kings 21-22
Marked: 1 Kings 21:20, So Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, O my enemy?” And he answered, “I have found you, because you have sold yourself to do evil in the sight of the LORD:
When I do something expressly forbidden by Scripture, am I not selling myself to do evil? I know the things I should do, but do the things I shouldn’t do.
Evil is with me continually. How I need the Lord. Without Him I would be condemned to hell.
Knowledge, isn’t enough. Having the will to do something, isn’t enough. It is only in the doing that things are accomplished.
This is as true of righteousness as it is true of evil. “Turn away from evil and do good.” (1 Peter 3:11)
Read: Judges 3-5
Marked: Judges 3:7, So the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God, and served the Baals and Asherahs.
We all serve someone or something. If we forget the Lord, how will we know good from evil?
I may think I’m doing good but am actually doing evil because I’m following a false idea, or image without realizing it.
When I forget God, I wind up suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.