Big picture– something not morally good; wicked. Arising out of bad character or behavior, individually or corporately. It usually originates in the heart.
As Christians, we must try and grasp its hold on us and our culture/society.
This blog on the topic of EVIL is a four part series. We are in part 1. Let’s get going……………..
There are evil deeds– John 3:19-20 Jesus taught, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world (Jesus himself), but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”
Let’s put evil to light. First think of the ten commandments. Let’s review. By the time we are done, we will probably not think too highly of our thought life or behavior. Remember this: anything breaking the ten commandments that God gave to us reviewed in Exodus 20:1-17 IS EVIL. Disobeying them is a good barometer for EVIL in the world around us.
The first four commandments pertain to your vertical relationship with God, and the last six commandments pertain to mankind’s horizontal relationship with each other. These were orally spoken to Moses by God. The TRUTH of God is dependent on these laws. We cannot shirk them off. Go back to Exodus; second book of the Old Testament.
About us with God (Exodus 20:1-8):
- There shall be no other gods before me (vs. 3)
- You shall not make any idols.( vs. 4)
- You shall not take God’s name in vain. (vs. 7)
- You shall keep the Sabbath day holy. ( vs. 8)
1.There is the tendency for us to put a priority on all “things” in our lives before God. This is our biggest stumbling block. Pride is the issue. This is evil numero uno. 2. We inadvertently and sometimes knowingly worship many other things before we worship God. You name them. This is evil also. 3. We swear and take the Lord’s name in vain verbally or in our hearts. We, and our culture, interchanges the holy name of Jesus, or God with cuss words like sh**, or f***, he**, to name a few. Sad isn’t it? Actually terrible. Our culture doesn’t seem to mind. We assign God “no value” or vanity in the process. This is a pure form of evil. 4. We forget about Sunday and its importance in our society. Sunday is a time to go to our kids’ soccer games, baseball tournaments, dance recitals, attend an art fair, and catch up with things that need to be done around the house (i.e. “Let’s skip church today”). While on vacations, we often take a vacation from church. This can become evil, believe it or not, certainly if it becomes habitual.
According to God, all of these things are evil because they go against the right relationship with God. Face it, we are a sick society in huge need of Jesus.
The last six commandments in Exodus 20: 12-17
About Men and Women and their horizontal relationships:
5.Honor your Mom and Dad. (vs. 12)
6.You shall not murder. (vs. 13)
7.You shall not commit adultery. (vs. 14)
8.You shall not steal. (vs. 15)
9. You shall not lie. (vs. 16)
- You shall not be envious of your neighbor. (vs. 17)
- Do we honor our Mom and Dad as God wants us to? Every family has dysfunction (sin). No parents are perfect. Far from it. Some have severely scarred their children. God STILL asks us to honor our parents, in spite of their misgivings. Chose to love and honor them, not expecting anything in return. God says it’s evil NOT to honor your mother and father, no matter how they have raised you. Be great parents yourselves. 6. Murder is about a revengeful heart, or a heart filled with violence. Jesus says that when our hearts are filled with anger towards another human being, that that IS a major problem. Evil at its best. 7. Adultery in our sex-crazed culture; either behaviorally or in thought, is evil. Yes, you got it. 8. Stealing anything is evil. Whether it be on our taxes, stealing from a store, cheating on a test, or stealing someone else’s written property (plagiarism), this is considered evil. 9. Lying is evil. Yes, in all of it’s forms. Exaggerating the truth (stretching it), or telling the “white lie” is considered evil in the sight of God. 10. Finally, now that you have been completely exposed to your lack of innate goodness, being envious of your neighbor’s success
(covetousness) is evil from God’s standpoint. We aren’t satisfied with what he has given to us, and we want more. We have to greedily keep up with the Joneses!
Conclusion: we don’t have to look at just Satan as the author of evil in the world. We will discuss him later. Look into our own hearts.
In the next blog I will examine why God allows evil to exist in our world, and how Satan authors evil.
Go here for the Bible Study Edition on “Principles for the Christian Life” blog.