The old saying goes something like, “Whatever’s in the cup will spill out.” And it’s really true! When life shakes you, out of the abundance of your heart emerges either good or bad. So it’s so important to remember the advice given in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” In other words, the source / or the starting point of all good or evil within you… is your heart.
Godlessness can be very subtle, clever, and hardly noticeable to others. That’s because deception can be just as sly in twisting a truth ever so slightly…or planting a seed of doubt in an otherwise confident mind. For anytime we put our trust in ourselves…in our own way, we’re not putting our faith in God. We may think we’ve got this and don’t need God’s help, but Psalm 33:6 tells us that, “No king is saved by the size of his army, no warrior escapes by his great strength.” God is very direct in this verse in Hosea…if you purse godlessness, you will be destroyed. For anytime we put our hope in our own actions rather than God, we can but only reap trouble. (Job 4:8)
This Scripture specifically deals with immorality and adultery…but in the bigger picture, it deals with sin against God. Have you ever considered that every time you sin – you’re defying God to His face? For every time you allow evil to reign in your life, you’re in direct opposition to God and rebelling against Him. Joseph understood that giving into a temptation was a sin…but that sin isn’t self contained…for no matter how hidden we think it is, others will be affected by our lack of judgement. And ultimately, Joseph knew he would be sinning against God.
Humans have always rationalized and hidden things they’re not comfortable about everyone knowing. We recognize that what we’re doing is wrong, but we say to ourselves, “What I do in the privacy of my own home is my business…it doesn’t hurt anyone, so why should it matter?!” We even brazenly think we can get away with the sin and won’t get caught. But it does matter…For every evil action will affect someone negatively somehow…every scheme of wickedness done in the realm of darkness will eventually be found out…it’s just a matter of time.
What does God hate? The short list is right here in this proverb. God tells us over and over again not to have a relationship with any kind of unethical or immoral activity. But our pride and arrogance makes us think we know more than Him, so off we go, dabbling in things that confuse and slowly draw us in. And before you know it, we’re snared by the grip of sin. But even then, our willful and obstinate nature refuses to accept responsibility and turn away from the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. Our corrupt human nature is constantly pulling us away from what is right and good…when God is telling us to shun evil and put away all our wicked ways.
Rebellion…if you’ve ever tried to reason with a toddler why he can’t do something, only to see him do it…you’d think we were born defiant! Unfortunately, since that moment in the Garden of Eden, humans have been on a path of revolution and resistance against God. But where has our fierce independence gotten us? Separated far from God as He looks on with great sorrow at the abject wickedness and corruption of His creation. Rebellion is the road to hell…the time is now to turn from evil and embrace obedience and submission.
Over the last years, the world’s moral pendulum has swung far off-center. What was once considered wrong, is now accepted as the norm. What was once thought as unethical, is now touted as chic. We are constantly being bombarded by commercials and advertisements that tell us how to think and act if we want to be accepted…but they are usually contrary to God’s Word. Psalm 94:21 tells us that the wicked will band together against the righteous. The evil world’s way of thinking doesn’t have to seep into your life and mind… for God is greater than any evil that may come your way…offering wisdom and happiness in place of misery and suffering.
In this verse Jesus so wisely observed the world’s value system both then and now. For what we treat as precious and dear, are what we value. Are they things of virtue and truth, or things of sin and wickedness? Jesus came into the world to shed illumination on our spiritual darkness…that we love evil rather than good and falsehood rather than speaking the truth.(Psalm 52:3) He declared in John 7:7, ” The world hates Me because I testify that what it does is evil.” Pray that the spiritual darkness that is enveloping the world may be lifted and banished as we seek the light.
How many times have you regretted a hurtful, unkind remark made in the heat of an argument? And thought to yourself, “I wish I could take back what I just said.” The tongue has a way of causing trouble for all of us. A flippant, or off-hand remark can cause irreparable damage to a relationship…and something we thought was said in confidence, will sometimes come back to haunt us. The whole course of our lives can be ruled and controlled by our tongues…but for God.