Read: Proverbs 19-21
Marked: Proverbs 21:10, The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
There are some that will not get along with anyone. They are “rotten to the core” as they say. They seem to have it in for everyone. Beware of those that can’t seem to get along with anyone. There is an emptiness in their souls which is expressed in outward acts.
Jesus says in Matthew 15:18-19, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”
Read: Psalms 58-65
Marked: Psalms 58:1, To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David. Do you indeed speak righteousness, you silent ones? Do you judge uprightly, you sons of men?
It is said, “As the leader goes, so goes the people.” Wicked rulers and governments turn the hearts of people away from righteousness and justice.
Recently, on the talent show, America’s Got Talent, a contestant introduced himself and then went on to introduce his two “partners” in the audience and went on to say that they are in a polyamorous relationship. What was interesting was the reaction of the audience which erupted in great applause.
God has appointed and given authority to government to uphold truth, righteousness and justice (Romans 13). It should come as no surprise that we see an increase in unrighteousness, sexual immorality, and wickedness due to governments and courts making successive immoral laws and judgments.
And the righteous keep silent and others even advocate for these things to be embraced by the church. But God will not. He will hold the wicked and immoral to account and those who remain silent too.
If we do not retain God in our knowledge, He will give us over to a debased mind and wickedness and hatred of all things godly will increase. The righteous judgment of God will fall, not only on those who practice such things, but on those who approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:28-32).
Read: Judges 19-21
Marked: Judges 20:3, (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) Then the children of Israel said, “Tell [us,] how did this wicked deed happen?”
A terrible thing has happened in Israel and the people are rightly angry. But how culpable were they? Did they know about the immorality that was happening in Benjamin, but didn’t deal with it until now?
I see in these chapters man attempting moral justification without actually admitting to sin. There was sexual immorality permitted, rape, murder, inhospitality culminating in the butchering of an innocent woman.
Instead of acknowledging their own inaction Israel attempted to resolve these societal wrongs in carnal ways and in the process almost annihilating a tribe of the nation of Israel.
In Romans 1:28-32 we see men doing things which are not fitting. Terrible things that should rightly be stopped. But worse than those who do such things is the condemnation on those who approve of those who practice them.
Marked: Ecclesiastes 8:8, No one has power over the spirit to retain the spirit, And no one has power in the day of death. There is no release from that war, And wickedness will not deliver those who are given to it.
The Bible teaches that the spirit of man at death returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
No matter how hard we might try we have no control over where and when death takes us. As much as we may long to live, the death rate is still one per person and a 100 % certainty.
The Bible says we are appointed to die once, but after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Whether we live righteously or live wickedly, death takes us all eventually. Fighting this does not change this fact. But at the judgment there will be a judgment of the righteous and a judgment of the wicked.
Only during our lives on earth do we have the choice how we shall live. Wickedness shall not deliver those who are given to it.
Read: Psalms 66-69
Marked: Psalms 68:3, But let the righteous be glad; Let them rejoice before God; Yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
Verse 2 in this chapter says, “So the wicked perish at the presence of God”. Then verse 3 says, “But let the righteous be glad”.
There are two types of people, those who do wickedly before the Lord and won’t be humbled by His presence, they perish. And then there’s the righteous who are glad and rejoice before God because in their humility they acknowledge their wickedness and repent.
The righteousness they enjoy is the Righteousness of God. And in God, gladness and joy is found. In His presence the righteous rejoice exceedingly because they have peace with God.
Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, used to say, “You can’t know the peace of God until you know the grace of God.”
In my wickedness I turned to God in repentance and He gave me righteousness by His grace and forgave me so I could enjoy peace with Him.
Read: Psalms 17-20
Marked: Psalms 18:20, The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.
David wasn’t claiming that he was righteous or had clean hands, but he saw that God had a higher expectation on him as God has for all who call on the name of the Lord.
Verses 21-23 give clarity to how David expected to be righteous. By keeping the ways of the Lord and not by wickedly departing from God, V21.
By looking to God’s judgments and not putting away His statutes from him, V22. And being blameless before God and keeping himself from iniquity, V23.
This is good advice for all followers of Jesus. It is not in our own strength that we attain righteousness but by the Holy Spirit and walking according to His ways.
Read: Psalm 9-16
Marked: Psalms 10:13, Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about the violence, the protests, the deaths of innocents during the last year or so.
Why do the wicked do wickedness? I think because, for the most part, the wicked have renounced God.
They certainly don’t believe, or at least act as if they don’t fear God, or think He will not hold them accountable.
If my thinking is right, a world that doesn’t fear God is a dangerous place.
Read: Malachi 1-4
Marked: Malachi 1:4, Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever.
In Psalm 127:1 we read, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it.”
God had punished Edom for its iniquity. Though Israel (Jacob) and Edom (Esau) were both children of Isaac, God had chosen the younger to bless because Esau had forsaken his birthright.
God blesses who He chooses, and often the one filled with pride is not chosen. Such was the case with Edom. Instead of turning to God in repentance, Edom was determined to go his own way. But God said, “They may build, but I will throw down.”
If I throw down my pride and turn to God I will find that God will build me up. Proverbs 3:34 says, “Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble.”
I pray I will throw down pride and always humble myself before the Lord.
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: Micah 1-7
Marked: Micah 7:5-7, Do not trust in a friend; Do not put your confidence in a companion; Guard the doors of your mouth From her who lies in your bosom. For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household. Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.
Wickedness can be so great that one can’t even trust his closest friends, or even relatives.
When I can’t trust those closest to me, I can always trust the Lord. When those closest to me don’t even want to listen, God is there, ready to listen. His doors are always open.