Posts Tagged ‘Wickedness’


Bible Devotions From Joshua 10:29-11:23

Posted by: admin    in Joshua

When the events recorded in this portion are viewed and interpreted by natural reasoning, they seem barbaric. And since, as it declares here, I commanded these actions, it is easy for the natural man to conclude that I am merciless and bloodthirsty, and that I prompted My people to perform merciless and bloodthirsty deeds. And you know that there are many today, even some who call themselves by the name of My Son, who discount the deeds recorded here as being from Me. And you see that it declares here that I hardened the hearts of all these kings and their people so that they might wage war against Israel and I thereby might destroy them totally. But you also observe that it declares that the Hivites who were living in Gibeon made a treaty of peace with Israel and were not destroyed. Is it not written in My Word that I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy? And so I chose to have mercy upon the Hivites and their hearts were not hardened. But the whole purpose of My command to destroy these cities and everyone within them is not revealed in this portion. Even you might ask why was it necessary to destroy everyone? Could not some of the women and the children be spared? Was it not possible that if they were spared, they could be changed into those who feared Me and followed in My ways? But you must consider that after this campaign of conquest, there was still a significant number of cities and people who were not conquered in Joshua’s time. And later on you find that some of these were spared and that My command to Joshua through Moses was not fulfilled. And what were the consequences of this sparing, of this seeming act of mercy? Was it not that rather than being influenced to be brought into Israel’s faith, that these corrupted and influenced the sons of Israel towards their idolatrous ways? It needs to be understood that from a spiritual perspective, these people from the oldest to the youngest had been dedicated to demons, to serve and worship them. These things are clearly declared in other portions of My Word. And My judgment upon them was so severe because I knew and understood, first of all, the true nature of their spiritual condition. And I also knew that there was no remedy among the sons of Israel that was strong enough to change the condition of the hearts of those who then lived in the land. And had I not also seen, when I tested the hearts of My people in the wilderness, that they were weak and inclined to rebellion and to idolatry? These were the things that I knew and that must be understood as you consider what is written here. And if they are weighed in the light of what happened when My severe command was not obeyed, you can readily appreciate why that command was so severe.

Therefore, what is apparently contradictory to My love and My mercy, when seen in the light of what I have told you, is in fact truly consistent with what I have revealed about My true nature. For I am a jealous God and to be lenient with those who have become confirmed in their devotion to evil ways would not be either consistent with My true nature, nor loving and merciful to the people that I had chosen to bear My name and My revelation in the earth. Those who do not value and understand the revelation of man’s sinful condition before Me, find it easy to judge quickly that I am merciless and bloodthirsty, as evident by My severe judgment of the Caananites. But those who understand man’s sinful condition before Me and the depth of that sin, will not be so quick to judge Me and will be able to receive such instruction and correction as I have given you here. And if you will take to heart the deeper implications of what I am declaring to you, will you not be quick to hear and understand, and slow to judge and easily reject?

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Bible Devotions From Proverbs 12

Posted by: admin    in Proverbs

You know from other portions of My Word that I make it clear that righteousness is not gained by human effort. It is rather My gift, but it is only given to those who prize it. But you also know that righteousness, as a gift which establishes a right relationship between me and those who receive it, is also expressed in deeds that reflect My character. But as you see from this portion, righteousness produces certain attitudes as well as certain conduct. And both the attitude and the conduct are crucial to the expression of righteousness in one’s life. For no one can manifest righteous conduct without a righteous attitude, and a righteous attitude cannot be hidden but will surely manifest itself in righteous conduct. And you see here, as you read these words that portray the contrast between righteousness and wickedness, that righteousness enables one to be far sighted and to consider what will result as the end and the fruit of his choices and his actions. In contrast the wicked are unable to see the real end of his choices and actions, and he is quite deceived very often because the consequences of his choices and actions may seem to be more immediately what he desires them to be. But in the long run they will prove to be fruitless and even destructive. You see also that the righteous man because he thinks this way, that is in the long term, he is able to love discipline and to embrace correction because he understands that even though it may for the moment cause pain, yet in the end it will yield fruitful and good results. Because the wicked are not farsighted and do not consider what the long-term consequences of his choices and actions will be, he does not love discipline or correction. He is not able to see and value the good that such will produce. As you review those characteristics of the righteous and the wicked as they touch upon human relationships, you see that the righteous is giving and caring. It declares that he is even this way with his animals as well as with human relationships. On the other hand the wicked is selfish and uncaring. And even when he seems to be caring, it is actually masking selfish intent. It is not truly what it appears to be. And I have already spoken to you about the reward that the righteous gains, even in this world, and the return that the wicked receives as a result of his wickedness. But I want you to understand that all of these words written here which describe the way of the righteous and its results and the way of the wicked and its results, are not given with the thought that they can merely influence people away from wickedness towards righteousness. No, they are rather given to encourage those who want to follow the way of righteousness, so that they can consider both its necessary disciplines, its true character and its rewards. And perchance those who come to an end of satisfaction with wicked ways can be drawn away from them by seeing its true character and its certain end. Understand, My son and My daughter, that as long as I extend My love and mercy to the sons of men, so long will I also extend to them the appeal to change and to receive the way of righteousness.

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Bible Devotions From Proverbs 6:6-19

Posted by: admin    in Proverbs

Here you have three very important admonitions that it is impossible for you to ignore if indeed you would live in a manner that pleases Me. And while indeed there is in the first admonition an appeal that involves your own well being, nonetheless in all of these there is not only warning about what not to do, but behind each is the clear implication that you are urged about these matters, because each of them involves that which pleases Me.

In the first, the one who is inclined toward laziness, toward a lack of proper discipline and stewardship, is admonished. He is urged to consider the ant as a model of diligence and proper planning. Why the ant? First of all it declares that the ant shows diligence and industry, not because he is commanded by another to do so, but rather his motivation comes from within. He is self-governed and self-regulated. Unlike the sluggard, he does not give in to self-indulgent feelings. These do not control his actions. He is far sighted in planning for the realities of the future.

He understands that upon which his life truly depends. Thus you have set before you in this little creature a model for the one who in discipline and proper stewardship exercises a wisdom that comes from Me, and a sense of responsibility that takes into count the realities of it’s life. By implication these verses tell you that I have established wisdom and direction within the most seemingly insignificant aspects of My creation.

And the one who would live well is the one who would pay attention and learn even from the little ant. In the case of the scoundrel who practices deception and plots evil there is the warning that he will not escape judgment for his evil. As the first portion is an encouragement toward discipline and responsibility, the second is a warning that those who practice evil and deceit, though they may seem to get away with it for a while, will ultimately be visited with My judgment. And though that judgment seems long in coming to the one who judges, it is merely from a human perspective. Yet when it does come, it comes suddenly, almost as if completely unexpected. And when it is visited, there is no remedy for turning it back. This is both a warning and an encouragement for the righteous man. It is a warning not to be deceived by the seeming delay of judgment upon the wicked. For one thus influenced by the seeming delay might be enticed to think that evil is not judged and thus to fall into evil himself. And also the one who sees the delay may be given over to despair and to lose sight of who I am and how I visit righteous judgment in My own way and in My own time. And you see finally in the listing of those seven things that are detestable to Me not only a warning to avoid that which brings My displeasure, but it is also a reminder of man’s ultimate accountability to Me for both his actions and the attitude of his heart which prompts those actions. And surely if what is hateful to Me becomes truly important, then does not also that which pleases Me become important?

One cannot consider the one without the other, for in the haughty eyes is there not the manifestation of pride? For the lying tongue and false witness is there not the manifestation of deceit? For it is only as My Son declared, that what is in the heart reaches and moves the tongue. And you have that clearly stated when it declares that I hate the heart that devises wicked schemes. So then, in each of these admonitions are you not called to practice that which pleases Me? And surely if your heart is towards Me, you will not only acknowledge that these admonitions are correct, but you will want to embrace them with your whole heart not only to secure your well being, but even more to please Me.

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