Evil

Psa 97:10 You who love Jehovah, hate evil;

 

My least favourite Western society observance is fast approaching – Hallowe’en. Last year I wrote about some of the history and practices associated with that day. Trick or Treat

When the subject comes up in conversation and I explain why I don’t observe that day I frequently get the response, “Well, it’s just a day for kids to dress up and have some harmless fun”. Is that why the most recent Walmart flyer has advertised costumes for sale that include a t-shirt with a huge butcher knife sticking out of a gory wound in the back? Harmless? Fun??

I like to dress up, eat goodies and have fun too, but surely we can do these things without promoting the things of evil. As Christians, we have been commanded to avoid all things that are or have the appearance of evil.

1Th 5:22 Abstain from every appearance of evil.

A dire warning is given to those who would twist God’s truth and make evil things seem harmless (as in Halloween)and good things seem bad.

Isa 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

But what, exactly is evil? What may be evil to one person may not seem evil to another. Christians themselves have been divided over the opinions of what is or is not evil. (dancing, playing cards, movies etc.)

Evil must be an important subject to understand as it is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible!

The first use of the term “evil” in the Bible is found in the book of Genesis.

Gen 2:9 and Jehovah God causeth to sprout from the ground every tree desirable for appearance, and good for food, and the tree of life in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The word “evil” in the above verse comes from a root word which literally means to spoil by breaking to pieces and figuratively means to make or be good for nothing. The following terms are also used to describe/define the word evil: adversity, affliction, calamity, grief, harm, hurt, mischief, sorrow, trouble, wretchedness, and wrong.

That’s a whole list of unhappy things that God wanted His creation to avoid having to experience or know about! Unfortunately, that all came to a bitter end when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Gen 2:17 … you shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (what died was their “spirit” life and the close connection with God – a topic for another post)

Notice how disobeying God and knowing evil lead to death. It only took one generation for evil to manifest itself as jealousy, anger and murder when Cain killed his brother, Abel.

1Jn 3:12 not as Cain who was of the evil one, and killed his brother. And for what did he kill him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s things were righteous.

God says that the imagination of Man’s heart is evil from his youth! Gen.8:21

Evil continued to multiply to such an extent that God regretted having ever made Man!

Gen 6:5,6 And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And Jehovah repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was angry to His heart. 

“Only evil continually”! Yikes! That was at the time of Noah – I don’t think that the majority of Mankind is any better now, thousands of years later!

Ecc 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event to all. Yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

The apostle John said that “all the world lies in evil”. 1Jn 5:19

What does God consider as being “evil”?

Jdg 2:11 And the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served Baals.
Jdg 2:12 And they forsook Jehovah, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt.

Joh 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

Evil happens when mankind forsakes God, disobeys His commandments and rejects the Light, who is Jesus Christ, the son of God.

When Man forsakes God, he turns to evil ways.

Mar 7:21,22 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:…

When we forsake and disobey God and chase after evil, there are serious consequences.

Jdg 2:15 Wherever they went out, the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil [they had done], as Jehovah had said, and as Jehovah had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.

In the book of Judges, it is written over and over again how the sons of Israel forsook God and did evil and God withdrew His blessings and protection and then Israel suffered at the hands of their enemies.

Jdg 13:1 And the sons of Israel did evil again in the sight of Jehovah. And Jehovah delivered them into the hands of the Philistines forty years.

Psa 34:16 The face of Jehovah is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Pro 11:7 When a wicked man dies, his hope shall perish; and the hope of evil ones shall be lost.

Pro 11:19 So righteousness tends to life; but one pursuing evil, it is to his own death.

Pro 17:13 Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

Isa 3:11 Woe to the wicked! For the evil doing of his hand will be done to him.

Rom 2:9 tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man who has worked out evil;

1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears open to their prayers. But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil.

God turns against those who do evil. Evil mankind has no hope. Evil leads to death. Evil begets more evil. The evil shall suffer tribulation and anguish. The evil shall be lost and destroyed. This is not a pretty picture!

And if you think that you can fool God, hide from him and escape judgement, think again!

Pro 15:3 The eyes of Jehovah are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good, or whether evil.

God sees, God knows and He will give judgement and pass sentence.

Jer_1:16 And I will pronounce My judgments against them regarding all their evil, those who have forsaken Me, …

Pro 24:20 for there shall not be a hereafter to the evil; the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

Joh 5:29 and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

Those who have practiced evil will be condemned to eternal destruction!

As Christians, we are told to “1Th 5:22 Keep from every form of evil“. I believe that when we, as Christians, “go along with” things like Halloween, we are not “keeping from every form of evil”. As Christians, we must stand separate and apart from those things which celebrate, promote or encourage evil.

Pro 4:14,15 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not into the way of evil.  Avoid it; do not pass by it; turn from it, and pass on!

Pro 24:1 Do not be jealous of evil men, nor desire to be with them.

1Co 15:33 Do not be deceived; evil companionships corrupt good habits.

2Co 6:14,15 Do not keep company with those who have not faith: for what is there in common between righteousness and evil, or between light and dark? And what agreement is there between Christ and the Evil One? or what part has one who has faith with one who has not?

3Jn_1:11 Beloved, do not imitate the bad, but the good. He who does good is from God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Instead, we, as Christians are told to do the following:

Psa 34:14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Pro 16:17 The way of the upright is to turn away from evil; he who keeps his way guards his way.

Pro 3:7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear Jehovah and depart from evil.

1Pe 3:10,11 For he that wants to love life and to see good days, let him restrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile. Let him turn aside from evil and do good. Let him seek peace and pursue it.

Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Using the free will with which God created them, they chose to disobey. We have also been given choices.

Deu 30:19, 20 I call Heaven and earth to record today against you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live, so that you may love Jehovah your God, and that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, …

And this is my prayer for you:

2Co 13:7 But I pray to God for you not to do evil, none.

Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil. For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

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CFS & CCM

CFS stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Mayo Clinic defines CFS as ” … a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.” CFS is one of the health issues that I live with and today it is making its presence keenly felt. Just trying to raise my arms above my head to brush my hair leaves me feeling like the Titan Atlas as he tried to carry the Earth upon his back. To say that I feel tired to the Nth degree seems like an understatement today.

I am sure that all of us have felt tired at some point and many of us may even have felt fatigued. Usually this type of tiredness and fatigue will eventually go away with adequate rest. I wish adequate rest was the solution to my fatigue. On top of physical and mental fatigue, many of us can suffer from emotional fatigue. Constant, unrelieved fatigue can lead to depression – and thus the vicious cycle continues.

Aside from physical, mental and emotional fatigue, there can also be spiritual fatigue – a different kind of CFS – Christian Fatigue Syndrome. This can happen when the cares, struggles and worries of this world not only drain you of physical energy but also saps you of spiritual energy. This type of CFS may be more hazardous to our health as it weakens our faith and a weakened faith leads to a loss of hope which causes yet another vicious cycle.

My answer to both types of CFS is CCM – Christ Carries Me. Remember that poem “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson? The final line says “It was then that I carried you”. I can’t count the number of times that I have had to rely upon Christ carrying me. Knowing that Jesus carries me through all the fatigue and troubles that come my way gives me hope and that hope enables me to rest through those difficult times. In so many ways, God, through His son, Jesus Christ, proves my hope in Jesus and as my hope is proved, my faith is increased.

When we are tired, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, Jesus has invited us to come to him, to give him our burdens and take on his rest.

Mat 11:28 Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take My yoke on you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.
Mat 11:30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.

When I am having one of my “bad” days, as I am today, I just rest in the Lord knowing that, and trusting in, CCM – Christ Carrying Me and I have hope that I shall get through this day and this time of trial. Like David, I can say that my heart rejoices and my flesh rests in hope.

Act 2:25 For David speaks concerning Him, “I foresaw the Lord always before me, because He is at my right hand, that I should not be moved.
Act 2:26 Therefore my heart rejoiced and my tongue was glad; and also My flesh shall rest in hope,
Act 2:27 because You will not leave My soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:28 You revealed to Me the ways of life. You will fill Me with joy with Your countenance.”

Blessings

http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com/

Toilet Paper

Working in the kitchen after women’s fellowship, I tried to grab some paper towel from the industrial holder to dry my hands. The paper towel was so thin that it just disintegrated when my wet hands touched it and I couldn’t pull any of it out of the holder. Aargh!

This led me to think about the battles with certain kinds of toilet paper. Don’t you just hate the stuff that’s provided in public bathrooms?? It is either so stiff that it could be used to print a newspaper or so thin and flimsy that you can blow a hole through it with one little puff!

On the other end of the spectrum is the toilet paper that is so thick and plush that it is like using a velour towel. Unfortunately, this trendy paper for tender tushies comes with its own set of problems. Although it is soft, if you need to do anything more than just a gentle pat-pat you end up with an easily disintegrating pile of white fluff that gets stuck in unmentionable areas! I have also discovered through research into septic tank maintenance (not an after dinner read) that this type of toilet paper does not break down properly in the septic tank and can therefore cause clogging problems – something to be avoided at all costs!

You are probably wondering where on earth am I going with this?? You can blame God for giving me a brain that thinks up weird spiritual analogies. What can I say – it’s a gift!?? LOL

I was thinking that our faith and/or spiritual lives can be like toilet paper. If our faith walk is stiff and difficult to bend like some of the public bathroom paper, we can be spiritually biased, unbending, unyielding and unkind to people who may be in difficult or sensitive situations.

If our faith is as thin and flimsy as some toilet paper, any time a stiff wind in the form of a difficulty or challenge presents itself in our lives, it can blow a hole right through our faith leaving us without the protection that we need.

Faith that is like the “kitteny-soft” toilet tissue that is made of thick but loosely compacted fibres may feel good at first, but come a time of trial or testing when that faith really needs to be strong and solid, it just falls apart leaving you trying to pick up all the pieces. When we only cling to the parts of our faith system that make us “feel good” or “comfortable” then we are at risk of clogging up our spiritual tank.

It’s kind of like Goldilocks searching for that certain something that is “just right”. When we shop for toilet paper, we need to look for something that is strong yet gentle. Our faith walk needs to be the same way – strong enough to withstand life’s messes that are bound to come along, yet gentle enough to allow for compassion, forgiveness, kindness and love towards ourselves and others.

There – betcha never thought that t.p. and faith had anything in common! LOL

Blessings