July 25, 2012

Unchecked evil reproduces itself

Ahab, an evil king, ruled the people of Israel. He was brought down, then his wife Jezebel. After this, Jehu, the king of Israel, went after his descendents. He came to the leaders of the city where they lived and told them to select the best of Ahab’s sons and make him their king. This was a test. These leaders were afraid. They responded.
So he who was over the palace, and he who was over the city, together with the elders and the guardians, sent to Jehu, saying, “We are your servants, and we will do all that you tell us. We will not make anyone king. Do whatever is good in your eyes.” (2 Kings 10:5)
From this, Jehu knew that the people of the city were not interested in perpetuating the rule of their former king. He ordered the slaughter of that man’s sons, then entered the city and took responsibility for their deaths. He referred to a prophecy made by Elijah who declared Ahab would die, and even though this evil man repented, the prophet said, “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster upon his house.” (1 Kings 21:29) 

As I read this, I’m thinking what does this have to do with me or my life, or the Christian world today? How is it relevant to modern life?

One answer is that evil still has the power to rule. It certainly grabs the hearts of criminals, thieves, and anyone who breaks the law. It can get into the hearts of Christians too. No one is immune to all the forms evil takes, from hate to greed, from pride to murder or murderous thoughts. The greatest evils also bear ‘children’ that are like them, perpetuating their grip on us and ruining our ability to live godly and righteous lives.

The people of the city who refused to make a king out of any of this evil man’s sons are like Christians who hate the power of evil and do not want it to rule. Yet like them also, we hesitate and are unable to take drastic action ourselves. We cry out to God and say “Do whatever is good in Your eyes.”

God replies. He wants all temptation spurned. Any evil that is in my heart is to be put to death, sent away, separated from the life of Christ and the life God asks me to live. Some of those evil thoughts, words and deeds may plead with me, “We are not really so bad,” but like the sons of Ahab, none of what evil does or perpetuates is to be spared.

Another answer is that when God asks me to choose who is king over my life, I need to refuse to let evil rule., I must be willing say no to it, relying on His Spirit to help me, but never hesitating or fearful of obedience.

Evil can take many forms. Ahab personified it, as did Jezebel. But they also had seventy sons destined for disaster, offspring that were evil also. 

Suppose I am jealous of another person. That jealousy can lead to gossip, backbiting, a mean spirited attitude toward that person, slander, unkind remarks, even refusal to do good toward him/her, which is also sin. Stopping the initial sin is important lest it spawn a whole host of children.

Lord, keep my heart right toward You and toward others. Help me spot any evil in my life before it produces more of the same, and be ruthless to destroy it and not let it rule over my heart.

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