Archives for posts with tag: Evil

These violent men have risen up against me;

Heartless, ruthless men

Who care nothing about God,

They seek to take my life….Pause in His presence

But the Lord God has become my wrap-around Shield.

He leans into my heart

And lays his hands upon me! (Ps 54.3-4)

  • These Violent Men. – What we know about the men who oppose David and betray him to Saul (the Ziphites) is that:
    • They are against David. They oppose David. They would seek to destroy David. This despite the fact that David is God’s anointed, the one who will certainly take the throne from the rejected Saul
    • They are heartless, ruthless men. This is always the case with those who betray men and women who are faithful to the Lord. They not only oppose the individual, they oppose God himself, as David is about to say…
    • They care nothing about God. This is the fundamental fact here. It is not just that the Ziphites are seeking to betray and destroy David, but by betraying David they are opposing God himself, since God anointed David. They do not care about God.
  • But. – It’s so important to always take notice of the changes of reference in the Scripture. David is about to tell us that, despite the fact that there are evil and violent men who are seeking to destroy him, there is a greater fact that they do not know about, nor understand. The greater fact?
    • God has become my wrap-around Shield. – God is on David’s side! This is what evil men never understand. It’s one thing to oppose a man who you think is a usurper to the throne and a rebel on the run, it’s quite another thing to oppose God himself. I love the beauty of the words he leans into my heart and lays his hands upon me. What is there to worry about when God is your shield?

If we are obedient to God, then men will oppose us. This is a fact repeated over and over again in Scripture in both word and example. Jesus put it this way: In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world. (John 16.33). I myself would prefer to have God as my wrap-around Shield, rather than to side with those who oppose him, how about you, dear reader? What would you prefer?

Advertisements

What can the righteous accomplish
When truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse?
Yet the Eternal One is never shaken–
He is still found in his temple of holiness
Reigning as Lord and King over all.
He is closely watching everything that happens.
And with a glance, his eyes examine every heart.
For his heavenly rule will prevail over all. Psalms 11:3-4 (Passion Translation)

There is something chilling in these verses and something hopeful.

  • Chilling – David makes the correct observation that when truth’s pillars are destroyed and law and order collapse then there is not much that the righteous can do.  There are times when evil runs amok and never more so than when truth is stifled and every man does what is right in his own eyes.  I think we are seeing the beginning of this today.  Society cannot long survive without truth.
  • Hopeful – David reminds us that, even in a time when truth’s pillars are destroyed we can have hope because the Eternal One is never shaken. God is not moved, nor worried, nor anxious when men reject truth.  This is no more threatening to him than an ant threatens an elephant.  David knows that God’s heavenly rule will prevail over all.

The upshot for we who take in David’s words?  In a time when truth is denied and denigrated, when evil seems to have the upper hand more and more, when mankind seems to become ever more blind by the minute; God still reigns.  He is still in control. He will still accomplish his ends and ultimately all will be well.

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20, ESV)

We do not see the words that are emphasized in the Hebrew in this verse because in Hebrew one way that they emphasize is by word position. I’ve put the emphasized words in bold so that we can see what words the texts emphasizes.

You! meant evil against me,” says Joseph to his brothers, which surely must have been a fairly awkward conversation.  It would be rather like trying to sell your brother into slavery in England only to find out that he has become Prime Minister.

The end of the story is not the action of Joseph’s nefarious brothers, however.  The end of the story is God acting. “But God! mean it for good,” continues Joseph.  Here is a news flash: If it comes down to our actions or God’s purposes, which do you think will win out?  [Hint:  Not us]

In the battle of evil actions versus good actions, good wins out because God is on the side of doing good.  That the free evil choices of Joseph’s brothers were opposed to God’s purpose mattered not at all to God.

Here is something I do not understand.  Men choose freely and choose evil.  God not only overrides their evil choices, but actually uses their free evil acts to accomplish his purpose.  We see this again and again in the Scriptures.

Evil is just as much under the sovereignty of God as everything else in this world.

 

“Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.” (Psalms 139:21–22 NAS95)

We need to be careful here because David does not say that he hates his own enemies.  He hates God’s enemies.  God’s enemies have become David’s enemies and he hates them with the utmost hatred.

When one thinks about David’s statement here, it becomes more clear exactly what David is saying.  At the end of history, either God will win out and be proved correct, or God’s enemies will win out and God will be defeated.  They both cannot win.  Evil and good cannot and will not win together.  One must defeat the other.  David is planting his flag firmly on the side of God here.  He wants God to win.  He wants good to win.  He wants evil and rebellion to lose out.

Charles Spurgeon:  “He was a good hater, for he hated only those who hated good. Of this hatred he is not ashamed, but he sets it forth as a virtue to which he would have the Lord bear testimony. To love all men with benevolence is our duty; but to love any wicked man with complacency would be a crime. To hate a man for his own sake, or for any evil done to us, would be wrong; but to hate a man because he is the foe of all goodness and the enemy of all righteousness, is nothing more nor less than an obligation.”

  Psalms 68:1 (HCSB)

 God arises. His enemies scatter,
and those who hate Him flee from His presence.

     A picture of a sovereign king.  When God arises, then do his enemies scatter, not because they want to scatter, but because they have no other choice but to scatter.  This is the nature of evil, when it is confronted by good, it must run and hide.
     What is the hope of the believer if not this?  That God would arise and subdue evil finally and completely and then send it to the Lake of Fire along with Satan and the rest of his henchmen and supporters forever and ever.  
     What is your hope, dear reader?  Do you want God to win, or his enemies?