Proverbs – News From The Source – Part 20 B
“Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety’s sake. Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm. Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright.The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just. Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble. The wise shall inherit glory, but shame shall be the legacy of fools." Proverbs 3:29-35
Basic truths of living in community with others seem to be self evident, but amazingly they are not when you consider the way so many people tend to treat one another.
We all know that children, by virtue of their innocence and dependence on loving parents for their sustenance and survival, generally speaking, are self-focused until they are taught to regard and value other people. But, adults who wantonly disregard the most basic principles of peaceful living together with others are far more common than any reasonable person would care to think. Fortunately, they are only a minority. The greater majority of people, particularly in America, do live by a common code of respect for the laws of God and the nation.
However, in recent years with the emergence of social media there has also emerged a growing movement of people who will say and do anything shrouded by internet anonymity, and others, feeling more emboldened, because of the sheer numbers of those espousing the same wickedness, throw propriety, decency and respect to the wind in order to spread lies, incite violence, engage in destructive discourse and evil of all kinds with unbridled passion and self-induced rage against others without cause.
These things would be shocking and a reason for grave concern if we were not already told to expect this present age to be what it has become. In the Apostle Paul’s letters to Timothy and Peter he prophesied by the Holy Spirit concerning the last days.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1
“…knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4
And so is the state of our world today among many in every nation. But there are also great and precious promises of God concerning the last days.
Peter preached it on that first day of Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church that day and those in the Upper Room were filled with the Holy Spirit and fire, and they began to speak in other tongues proclaiming the wonderful works of God.
“Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, …how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? …we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” Acts 2:6-11
The scoffers among them dismissed this marvel as just the babblings of drunks. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to hear a drunk speak in any language “the wonderful works of God.”
But Peter stood up in the midst of the people that day and said,
“For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; and it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: and I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:15-21
It may seem as though the whole world is growing more uncivil toward one another and the anarchist, hatemongers, violent, scoffers and their evil speaking rhetoric are winning the day, but they are not.
Though they shout anger and call for violence against those who have done them no harm, their way will not prosper. And though some among us, who believe and trust in the truth of the Word of God, might be tempted to adopt their tactics and return to them evil for evil, we must not do it. That is not God’s way. That is not the way of the power of God’s love, grace and forgiveness. We must pray for them.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44-45
Those who are perverse in their ways are an abomination to God. He will deal with them in His own way in due time. As for us, those whom he has declared the Righteous of God in Jesus Christ, His secret counsel is with us. He is revealing to us through His Word and the Holy Spirit, things that are hidden from the perverse world. By His Spirit we can see the truth and know the things that are not of God so that we may avoid them. By the Spirit of the Lord we know the things that are of God and we embrace and walk in them.
God is pouring out His Spirit on us now daily. Lift up your heads, lift up hands, lift up your hearts and receive His power from on high. Lift up your voice and begin to declare the things that are being revealed to us in these last days. Tell of your dreams, declare your visions, prophecy and declare the wonderful works of God so that all will hear. And whosoever will hear and shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Timothy 2:24-26
This is the Word of the Lord and His commandment to us.
“Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:17-18