“Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride does persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and blesses the covetous, whom the LORD abhors. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:1-4 (KJB)
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,’ saith the Lord.
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:19-21 (KJB)
Overcoming of evil is not expected of evil. It is expected of those who have been overcome by the One who has conquered the evil one who is Satan. He was defeated by Jesus Christ on the cross.
Our battle is not against flesh and blood. It is not against our neighbor across the street or across the creek, or on the other side of the fence. Our battle is against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). We are to love one another as believers in Christ.
We are to also show love to those who would mean us harm. Give them food and water. Give them wood for their fire. Overcome evil with good.
If you think this is difficult then just think of what Jesus Christ did for us. The sinless, guiltless, Son of God went to the cross to die for the sin laden, guilty, dirty, filthy, stinking sins of the sinners that you and me are. He really was overcoming evil with good.
Vengeance is God’s. Leave it with Him. Also see Deuteronomy 32:35 and Hebrews 10:30.
“Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken. Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.” Amos 5:14-15 (KJB)
In the year of 2019 and beyond it seems that it is getting more and more difficult for some to discern the difference between “Good” and “Evil”. Our definition of each word will depend upon our source for making that determination.
If our source is the political system, Hollywood, the News media, or any other media then we will have varied, and wide, and wild interpretations of good and evil. These forms of information are dependent upon the ideologies, and hearts and minds of sometimes not so clear thinking individuals who have only love for themselves; and not truth.
Good and evil in the best understanding must be defined by God’s Word; the Person of God’s word is the Truth and He defines what is good and what is evil. The Person of Truth is none other than the only begotten Son of God Jesus Christ.
If God’s Word tells us that something is “Good”, then it is good. If He tells us that something is “Evil”, then it is evil.
It is quite clear from the reading of Scripture that God is good. It has been said, “God is good” and “God is good all the time” and “All the time God is good”. Since He is good, then everything He says and does is good.
It becomes then quite clear that since God is good He is the only One who can truly define evil, what it is, and where it comes from; so when God speaking through the prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desparately wicked. Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) then we can rest assured that God knows what He is saying, that it is the truth. We also can safely conclude that we are in need of a Savior; since we have a deceitful and wicked heart.
Amos by the word of the LORD says to “Seek good, and not evil”. What are you seeking today. There is good and there is evil. Anything contrary to God and His Word is evil. When you put your faith and trust in the work of Jesus Christ and His finished work of His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection; then your definition of good and evil will change to agreeing with God. Seek good, and not evil. God is good.
“Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty….” Ezekiel 28:11-12 (KJB)
Tyre was evidently a rocky island in the Mediterranaen sea. It was known as a place where the known world of the time traded; a place of commerce. The king of Tyre or Tyrus was arrogant, and exalted himself as God. This is an arrogance in the extreme, and definitely invites the judgment of the Lord GOD.
I pray as you read this you will read chapters 26 – 29 of the prophecy.
In God’s lamentation of the king it seems directed at the spirit of iniquity; the place from which the evil heart and mind really comes the person who was in the garden of Eden, and questioned the word of God, and caused the man Adam and his wife Eve to question the word too.
When we see evil in the world it can be traced to this vile, wicked, evil, serpent who also exalts himself over the throne of God (Read Isaiah 14). We see kings and rulers today who are trying to silence the word, the will, and the way of the Lord GOD, and kill all that profess the name of Jesus Christ who is the Son of the Lord GOD.
To you who are self exalted kings and gods; you will not succeed. You are doomed to the fires of Hell unless you repent of your sins, and turn to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He is the One who died, was buried, and rose again. He is the King of kings, and ultimately you will bow to Him.
To you who are not kings and/or rulers of any land or nation. If you think you are the master of your own fate; the captain of your soul; you are not. This One who died on the cross (Jesus Christ), was buried, and rose again is. Submit to Him, His Lordship, and call on His name.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.
As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” Jeremiah 17:9-11 (KJB)
Let me get right to the point. There is no male or female who is without a wicked heart, until that heart has been changed through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the perfect, sinless, Son of God; the only One who did not have a wicked heart.
Apart from the grace of God displayed on the cross that wicked heart can still make an appearance if we stray for walking with the LORD.
The part of these verses that caught my attention this morning was verse 11 dealing with the partridge; apparently a bird that could have been known for taking eggs of another bird, sitting on them, an leaving them at the first sign of trouble.
The wicked heart of Adam’s kind steals from others, and is shown to be a fool in his end.
God knows your heart. You may think you do. When you have seen some evil, wicked thing; you may have thought, or even said out loud, “I would never do anything like that”. That wicked heart you do not believe you have can show up suddenly, and openly, then the whole world around you will see. It is, in fact, your wicked heart that would lead you to think, and/or say such a thing.
O you of Adam kind will you give your heart, your soul, your mind to Jesus Christ? Do so today.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16 (KJB)
As if to say “Don’t forget the shield of faith” the Apostle gives instruction on using our faith in the spiritual battle we face. We cannot face the enemy without it.
“…The wicked” of the verse above is definitely speaking of the enemy of God (who is Satan), and ours; but we must not forget that wickedness, evil can be found in the people who live around us, and are pawns of the evil one. As Christians we are warned to guard our own hearts and minds; if we do not, then evil can come into our own lives.
Wickedness is all around us. Can you see it? There are people who call what is good “evil” and call what is evil “good”. As Christians we must stand for what the Bible, the Holy Bible, the Holy Scriptures say; the word of God stands sure. Without Scripture we can have no genuine faith.
Christians, Stand by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
From the Commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown…
“Above all — rather, “Over all”; so as to cover all that has been put on before. Three integuments are specified, the breastplate, girdle, and shoes; two defenses, the helmet and shield; and two offensive weapons, the sword and the spear (prayer). Alford translates, “Besides all,” as the Greek is translated, Luk_3:20. But if it meant this, it would have come last in the list (compare Col_3:14).
shield — the large oblong oval door-like shield of the Romans, four feet long by two and a half feet broad; not the small round buckler.
ye shall be able — not merely, “ye may.” The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so “quench, all the fiery darts” (an image from the ancient fire-darts, formed of cane, with tow and combustibles ignited on the head of the shaft, so as to set fire to woodwork, tents, etc.).
of the wicked — rather “of the EVIL ONE.” Faith conquers him (1Pe_5:9), and his darts of temptation to wrath, lust, revenge, despair, etc. It overcomes the world (1Jn_5:4), and so the prince of the world (1Jn_5:18).”
Do not remain blind to the Truth of who Jesus Christ is. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again. He will one day return and put away all evil; and it will be what He declares as evil; not what men say.
“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:9
“It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19 (KJB)
Between the Rooftop and the Desert – Proverbs 21:9-19
Verses 9, 19 – In the days of ancient Israel rooftops were flat, and used quite often for relaxing in the evening, or early morning. The husband or wife could go to the rooftop, without leaving home, to get away from the other.
The desert or “wilderness” was not home. This is leaving the house entirely.
Verse 10 – Between home and the wilderness are many temptations. The wicked desire evil, and one of those evils is no love for their neighbor.
Verse 11 – There is also much learning. The “simple” (Naive, foolish, open minded) learn by seeing the “scorner” (One who mocks God and religion) punished for their evil mouth and behavior. The wise seek every opportunity to learn of God, holiness, righteousness, salvation- through the writings of others and reading them and applying them to their own lives.
Verse 12 – “The righteous maketh the house of the wicked to prosper.” Gersom from John Gill Commentary e-Sword. A good example is the house of Potipher with Joseph (Genesis 39:1-7). God has blessed the United States of America because of the Righteous. In the end the wicked will be overthrown. Not by the United States, but by the breath of the Lord Jesus Christ when He comes again.
Taking out the italicized words consider this for verse 12…
“The righteous wisely considers the house of the wicked, overthrowing the wicked for wickedness.” v.12
Verse 13 – A stern warning about turning away from the cries of the poor. To willfully neglect to hear and help the poor when it is in the power of our hand to do it could bring the same judgment on ourselves. Luke 16:10-31
Verse 14 – See Proverbs 17:8; 18:16. “The Bible often reports facts without approving them. Thus it observes that an angry man will quiet down if the offender slips him a gift, and a man who is in a rage is appeased by a bribe tucked in his pocket.” From Believer’s Bible Commentary
Verse 15 – People who are just rejoice when Judgment or justice is done. There is ruin or destruction to those who work iniquity. It is proper to rejoice in righteous judgment. It is iniquity to rejoice when evil is done.
Verse 16 – 18 – The wandering individual, the one who goes astray from the paths of God and understanding find themselves with the dead. When pleasure is all that one seeks they will not be rich.
For verse 18 consider Haman’s taking the place of Mordecai (Esther 7).
Verse 19 – Between the Rooftop and the Desert there are many things to understand and learn. There are sometimes troubles at home, and there are in the desert as well; with or without a spouse. The thing is for the people of God to be faithful and true to Him who is with us always.
Separation and Promise
And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land. And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? eparate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.
And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD” Genesis 13:1-18 (KJV).
Verses 1-4 – There is a need for instruction. “Instruction” is speaking of the need for correction or chastisement “Instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
To be “brutish” is a sign of stupidity; and foolishness.
Verses 5-7 – The thoughts, purposes or devices of the righteous are right. The advice of the wicked are deceitful. This compares the counsel of the righteous with the wicked.
The wicked and the righteous are again compared in verses 6 and 7.
Verses 8-11 – Acting and/or speaking with wisdom gains the respect of others.
“Prov. 12:9–11 These are sayings about ordinary workers that illustrate either the “good sense” or the “twisted mind” of v. 8. Lack bread (end of v. 9) is paralleled by lacks sense (end of v. 11), and both verses speak of the importance of prudent labor in order to provide enough to eat. The point of the whole is that the righteous person cares even for his animals (v. 10a) and provides for his household by a sensible perspective on life (v. 9a) and sensible labors (v. 11a). By contrast, he who follows worthless pursuits (v. 11; such as get-rich-quick schemes, gambling, or lotteries, in a modern context) lacks sense and, by contrast with the first half of the verse, will probably live in poverty as well (cf. 28:19).” ESV Study Bible notes
Verses 12-14 – Sensible labor and worthless pursuits are in contrast in these verses. Those who practice sensible labors have a yield of fruit. Those who go in worthless pursuits find themselves ensnared.
Verses 15-23 – The foolish person has the perspective of being right in his/her own eyes, and can rarely if ever be taught anything contrary to what they see of themselves.
With verse 15 see the following verses: 3:7; 16:2; 21:2; 26:12; 14:12.
Note the contrast in the prudent and the foolish. Their words and their actions are the product of the heart.
Verses 24-28 – A contrast between the diligent and the slothful. The hard working individual is diligent about their tasks; and will see it through to completion. The slothful will find any excust not to even begin the job. See Proverbs 20:4.
With verse 25 see Proverbs 15:13 and Proverbs 17:22
-Tim A. Blankenship
Responsibilities: The Watchman’s and The People’s
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” Ezekiel 33:1-9 (KJV)
Hearing and Holding On – Proverbs 4:1-27
Verses 1-13 – Hold on to wisdom; like a family heirloom. Children are the fruit of marriage, and the responsibility of their teaching, their learning is that of the father and mother. It is, however the responsibility of the child to learn the teachings which they are taught. Hearing instruction; godly instruction; as lived by the parent is necessary for the child to see as well as hear.
When God is our Father, our Instructor/Teacher we know that His teaching is never in error. If we err from His teaching it is the child who errs not the Father. Remember Wisdom is personified in Proverbs, and is seen in the New Testament as Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God.
Verses 14-19 – There are two paths which each individual must choose from. “The way of wisdom” is mentioned in verse 11. We are shown that there are two paths people can take. “…The path of the wicked…” (v. 14), and “…The path of the just…” (v. 18).
The just and wise person is warned not to enter the path of wickedness. It is the path of darkness and the way of evil men. The path of the just is “…as the shining light…”. The way of darkness is filled with dangerous, headlong, falls, that lead to death, destruction, deception, and eternal despair. Most of all eternal darkness, separated from God, and His grace, mercy and love.
The path of the just is light filled with visibility. There are falls, but the righteous can fall and rise again to continue in the way of light (Proverbs 24:16). Decisions are made with clarity, and with a cause that will glorify the LORD.
Verses 20- 22 – The child must give heed to the teaching of the parent’s wisdom received from God.
“Then Jesus said unto them, ‘Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.” John 12:35 KJV
There is life and light for all who choose wisdom, justness, and righteousness.
“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8; also see Psalm 16:11).
Verses 23-27 – From the e-Sword edition of the Pulpit Commentary we find,
“WHAT IS TO BE KEPT. The heart. In the Bible the “heart” represents what we call the “head” as well as the affections and conscience to which we confine the word “heart;” i.e. it stands for the whole inner nature, the life of thought, feeling, and will. This is the “Town of Mansoul,” and it has the various constituents of a town.
1. Entrance gates. The soul is always receiving thoughts and impulses from without. It is important to see that no adulterated article, no poison, no subject of infectious disease comes in. Debased, false, and immoral impressions must be warded off.
2. Ways of exit. The broad river bears on her bosom argosies from the busy city to many a distant port. Let us see that the cargo is of good wares, in good measure, honestly realizing professions, containing no injurious things. Some hearts export only sham products, some deadly poisons. Deeds, words, even smiles and glances carrying thought and influences out of the soul must be carefully guarded.
3. Internal thoroughfares. The town is a network of streets and passages. Busy thoughts run to and fro in the heart. Let the traffic be orderly, the road well preserved, lest pure thoughts should be smirched with the mire of an unwholesome mental habit.
4. Storehouses. Memory has her treasuries, warehouses, granaries. Let us see that they are not crowded with rubbish, left in disorder, made fever nests by the corruption of any unhealthy contents. Nourishing truths and beautiful ideas should stock them.
5. Factories. In the heart we weave fine webs of fancy see that the pattern has the beauty of holiness; there, too, we forge great engines for future work see that they are constructed on safe and serviceable principles.
6. Halls of amusement. Let them be places of recreation, not of dissipation.
7. Shrines for worship. See that no idol takes the place of the true God, no hypocrisy does service for the incense of spiritual prayer and praise.
8. Graveyards of dead hopes and loves; keep them beautiful with flowers of tender memory. Are there also graves of dead sins? Plant weeping willows of penitence over them.” Pulpit Commentary; e-Sword edition
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” Matthew 12:35
The point of verses 25 – 27 is for the just to keep their eyes open so as not to end up on the path of darkness and wickedness. See Deuteronomy 5:32.
-Tim A. Blankenship
“Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride does persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and blesses the covetous, whom the LORD abhors. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” Psalm 10:1-4 (KJV)
Does GOD ever come into your thoughts? Is your life planned around the godly events that go on in your life? Do you have godly events in your life? I know, what a way to begin a lesson in God’s word. Asking such personal questions. Maybe these are questions we need to ask ourselves. It seems quite clear to me that we do not question ourselves enough concerning our relationship, our fellowship with God; or even if we have either one. It is clear that one who has no relationship with God will have no fellowship with God.
It is the wicked who persecute the poor. It is also the wicked who do not think of God, neither of godliness, of what is right in God’s eyes or wrong in God’s eyes. The wicked bless the covetous; those who are always grabbing for more stuff, more gold, silver precious jewels – more wealth of whatever kind, and at the expense of others.
The wicked are secure in themselves and in their pride and arrogance do not want, neither do they need God; so they think. They are very much like the man Jesus tells us about who built many barns (Luke 12:16-21).
It would not be in error to say, “If you are secure in yourself, you never think of God, nor godly things; you never experience grief over your sins, then you are without God, and you are one of the wicked”. Is there hope for you? Just like for the rest of us; only through the cross of Jesus Christ who was put to death on the cross, was buried, and arose from the grave.
There is no hope for any except through the grace of God displayed in the cross of Jesus Christ.
This begins new post on this theme. I pray the Lord has spoken to your hearts of who Jesus is, and will continue to do so through the reading and study of the word of God.
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto him, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15 (KJV)
Joshua is uneasy, maybe even fearful of what is about to come with Jericho. He has gone away from the camp, and thinking, praying, surveying with his eyes the vastness of the city when this Man appears to him. Who is this Man? Is He on the side of Joshua? Is He on Israel’s side?
Look at His description. The Man has a sword, not in its sheath, but drawn; ready for battle. Joshua’s first thought was the reason for his question; “Are You for us, or for our adversaries?” This Man’s answer was probably not a comforting answer. He said, “No; but as Captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.”
Note Joshua’s action. He fell on his face in worship. He recognized the Lord. There is evidence here that this was a Christophany of God appearing as a Man to a man. It is called a pre-incarnate manifestation of Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.
Joshua’s question was a legitimate question. However, when it comes to the Lord we best be on His side; and not wonder whether He is on our side. He is the defender of our faith. He is the Warrior of righteousness, justice, love, mercy, and will not forgive the wicked who reject His word and/or His work.
Get on the LORD’S side today. Trust the Lord Jesus. He died on the cross for your sins; was buried carrying all your sin, shame, condemnation, guilt away; then He bodily arose from the grave, ascended to the Father; and is returning one day. Call on His name and He will save you.
“Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety. Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.” Proverbs 24:3-7 (KJV)
A short study of the twenty fourth chapter…
VERSES 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 19-20, 24 – The evil and the wicked. The wise are instructed to not envy the evil. The devices of the evil and the wicked are contrary to God, and the wise.
Those who are just and righteous (v. 16) when they are knocked down, will get back up; but he wicked “shal fall into mischief”.
“Candle of the wicked” (v. 20) probably refers to the spirit within every man, which is the door way to knowing God. Look at these verses… Job 21:17; Psalm 18:28; Proverbs 20:27.
To call the wicked “righteous” is to bring a curse on the one who does it (v. 24).
VERSES 3 – 7, 27 – Wisdom is needed in building a house and a home; in filling that home with material blessings as well as true riches.
The foolish man does not know what to speak when it is time for good judgment (v. 7).
There is wisdom in being prepared before one builds a home (v. 27).
VERSES 10 -14 – Wisdom leads to strength to stand in times of adversity. Understanding will help us make the right decision at important, difficult times; for ourselves and others (vv. 11-12).
On verses 13-14 – The ESV Study Bible notes state…
“Prov. 24:13–14… …Just as honey is sweet to the taste and good for the body, so wisdom is pleasant to the soul that feeds on it, fostering a secure hope (cf. v. 20; see notes on 23:17–18; Ps. 37:9).”
VERSES 17 – 18 – It is not wise to rejoice when we see an enemy, or a foolish individual fall.
VERSES 28 – 34 – We ought always to refuse to return evil for evil (vv. 28-29; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9). The wise man or woman will not allow themselves to grow slack in following that which is good.
There are many gifts given that are given in sacrifice. Some even given so hopefully to appease a wrathful god who holds a scale in his hands weighing our good and our evil deeds. No one can judge another heart in the matter. But the Almighty God knows.
In a couple of verses we look at today we see what God thinks of sacrifices given by the “Wicked”; and the prayers of the “Upright” or the “Righteous”.
“The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is His delight.” Proverbs 15:8
“The LORD is far from the wicked: but He heareth the prayer of the righteous.” Proverbs 15:29 (KJV)
It is good to be reminded of king Saul’s sacrifice (1 Samuel 15), and Samuel’s words to Saul concerning sacrifice,
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1 Samuel 15:22-23
Wickedness is the act of hostility toward God, His Word, His messengers, and His works. Who are the wicked? Those who practice such things. For those who are the wicked; God does not honor, remember or bless your “sacrifice”. It is an abomination to Him; and will be counted against you unless you believe Him.
Proverbs 15:29 tells us that “The LORD is far from the wicked”. He is far from them as far as their wickedness is concerned. The place where they lie at night He is there; but they are far from Him.
In both of the verses of Proverbs is mentioned “Prayer”. The prayer of the upright; and the prayer of the righteous. The righteous are those who have heard the Word of God, believed it, received it, and are born into the kingdom of heaven because of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“The prayer of the upright is His delight”. The “Upright” are the righteous, and God is delighted– favors, finds pleasure, good will, and acceptance in their prayers. For those who are born again in Christ Jesus it is wonderful to know that He hears our prayers…
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
O turn away from your wicked hostility toward God, His Word, His people, His messengers, and His works. Call on the name of the Lord.
“A righteous man who falters before the wicked
Is like a murky spring and a polluted well.” Proverbs 25:26 (NKJV)
Understanding that the “Righteous man” is one who is declared “Righteous” by God Himself because of the cross of Jesus Christ, and not a decree of the man himself, or of any other human decree…
What do I want for Christmas?
I want to be that righteous man who never falters, who never falls before the wicked or wicked causes; and I pray that all who are righteous through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ may stand against the wicked and wickedness, and always stand for God and His righteousness.
“These things also belong to the wise:
It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.” Proverbs 24:23-25 (NKJV)
What do I want for Christmas?
I want to be among those who are wise in the word, and the counsel of the word of the LORD; to never show partiality in judgment; to never call the wicked “Righteous”; and to be a blessing to all who know me, the one’s I have yet to meet, and even to those who might be an enemy; that all I know would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
What do I want for Christmas?
I want people to know that there is no peace to the wicked.
There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22 (KJV)
“God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” Psalm 7:11
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 5:1
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 (KJV)
The one who is guilty of a crime is constantly looking over their shoulders to check, and see if anyone is pursuing them. That is the wicked. Wickedness goes further, though, than just a guilty conscience. The wicked are haters of God, good, and godliness.
As I read this this morning I asked myself two questions: First, Do the unrighteous always flee in fear? The second: Are the righteous always the bold ones? The answer to those questions is both “NO!”
Let us look at another thought of the “Wicked”. The wicked are not just lawbreakers, they are God-haters. They hate God, His law, His Word, His righteousness, and anyone who is connected to Him. Many of the wicked will say, “I don’t believe in God. How can I hate something I don’t believe in?” See what I mean. The whole creation cries out for the God of the Universe, and you deny He exist; because you hate Him. You hate Him even when the evidence says He is true.
Normally, the wicked flee when no man pursues. Everyday the wicked flee because God is in pursuit of you. Normally, the righteous – the God fearer, the one’s who love God, His Word, His commandments, His law are bold as a lion.
It seems to me sometimes that the wicked are much more bold than the righteous in today’s world. Why would that be? Who are the “Righteous”? Those who have been declared righteous or Just by God Himself (Romans 1:7; 5:1). Of course there are none who are righteous of their own merit, their own goodness, “No not one” (Romans 3:10-11). Righteousness comes through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why does it seem that the wicked are bold, and the righteous are fleeing? It is because the righteous are not living righteous lives; we are not believing what God’s Word says, we are not believing God, thus we live with fear. We fear offending others, rather than fear offending God.
O LORD God give your people a righteous, healthy fear of YOU; that we might show forth Your righteousness in a lost, dark, and condemned world.
“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts. Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert. Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up.” Psalm 28:3-5 (KJV)
To be drawn away with the wicked, with the workers of iniquity would be drawing the Psalmist into the pits of hell. That was not his heart, nor his destiny.
The heart of the Psalmist is already established in the LORD. He calls the LORD “my Rock” his faith is in Him, and in no other.
The “wicked” are those who are deceived by their own lust, they are morally corrupt, they are ungodly, wicked, and condemned. These are they who speak well of their neighbors to their face, but will destroy them with an opportunity to prosper at their expense.
The “workers of iniquity” are the wicked. Their endeavors and their words condemn them. They have no regard for God. When the rain falls they are unthankful to the One who alone gives the rain. Of the “Operation of His hands” Spurgeon in the Treasury of David has written,
God works in creation – nature teems with proofs of his wisdom and goodness, yet purblind atheists refuse to see him: he works in providence, ruling and overruling and his hand is very manifest in human history, yet the infidel will not discern him: he works in grace – remarkable conversions are still met with on all hands, yet the ungodly refuse to see the operations of the Lord.
His hands, and His operations are great. He is Awesome and glorious in all His ways. He is in the operations of the universe. He holds the earth on her axis, and the planets and stars in their place. If He were to remove His hands everything would fly apart, and explode into pieces. Do you O sinner not see His mercy? Do you not see His grace given in the sending of Jesus Christ His holy and blessed Son; dying on the cross for our sin debt? O condemned one you need not be “drawn away” with the wicked. Through Jesus Christ He will give you a new heart, and a new life.
“Hold not Thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.” Psalm 109:1-2 (KJV)
How do we respond when we hear others speaking against us? When we hear that others have said something against us? It happens, it will happen, or it is happening now. None of us are immune to this.
David’s response was by going to the One who holds us in His hands. Lies often fall empty on a life that is lived for the glory of God. The truth will win out. If not in the courts of men, it does in the courts of the guiltless heart of the individual; and in the Court of heaven.
I will go to God of my praise, and rely on Him for my defense. He will not be silent. He will defend; He will oppose; He will destroy the lying tongues that oppose Him.
When others speak against you; PRAY to God through His Son Jesus Christ. He will hear you.
“Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before Him: but it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days,which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 (KJV)
Some may consider it a sad thing for a preacher of God’s Word to say what I am about to say, but I am telling you how I have felt about the book of Ecclesiastes for many years. I have found it troubling, troublesome, awkward, hard to understand, even confusing at times. I have always understood that the final verses of it gives us its best understanding.
In the past few days Ecclesiastes has been a part of my daily reading. I must say that the LORD has spoken to me more clearly through the words of Solomon in this past week, in Ecclesiastes than all the other times I have read it.
Solomon was considered to be the wisest of men in his time, in the days following; is still the wisest of men; except of course, the Lord Jesus Christ. Looking at the verses above he sure had that right.
Those words are an encouragement to all who are righteous that just because evil men or women seem to prosper, and live long lives doing it does not mean they are blessed. There are righteous people who are not prosperous, and who do not have prolonged days on the earth; however; they will live forever in the presence of holy GOD, and will dwell in His presence forever.
What makes a man or woman righteous? Scripture tells us
“There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” Romans 3:10-11
Righteousness is a gift of God come by God’s grace. The righteous are those who “fear God”. We are also told by Scripture…
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Corinthians 5:21
We are all sinners without hope, and God sent His only begotten Son [Jesus] to pay our sin debt. Jesus Christ the Son of God and God the Son became our sin, took the wrath of God upon HImself – upon the cross of Calvary – suffering our shame, our guilt, our judgment, and put away our sin forever. He was buried taking our sin away. He bodily arose showing, declaring that death’s victory was no more.
Solomon was a very wise man. Righteous people need not fear what lies ahead, or question why the evil men prosper. Not all evil men or women prosper. All prosper best when we come to Jesus Christ through His cross.