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Hating Evil: When Light Defines the Shadow

I started collecting the scriptures for this entry some time ago. I was posed a very important question regarding the purging of the nations in the Land of Canaan which led to conversation about punishments and judgments, found in the bible,  which seem to some to be extreme. I had put this project on hold because I know that the Lord, in His immaculate timing, had meant to lead me through my firsthand experiences with different faces of evil. I pray that He will enable me by His spirit to draw from these wells and stores and express to His glory and magnification what the reader needs, here and now, to enrich and inspire their faith.

rays of light

Tehillim (Psalm) 97; 1 The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many islands be glad.Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; Righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne.Fire goes before Him and burns up His adversaries round about.His lightnings lit up the world; the earth saw and trembled. The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth. The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory. Let all those be ashamed who serve graven images, who boast themselves of idols; worship Him, all you gods.Zion heard and was glad, and the daughters of Judah have rejoiced because of Your judgments, O Lord. For You are the Lord Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10 Hate evil, you who love the LordWho preserves the souls of His godly ones; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 11 Light is sown for the righteous and gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Be glad in the Lord, you righteous ones, and give thanks to His holy name.

 How does one go about Hating evil? Hate is a word which is so ugly in general it is not allowed to be spoken in my home, among my children. But the Psalmist states if we love the Lord we are to hate evil. The context is the praise of the Creator, that time we have not yet reached when all of the earth will know the presence of El Elyon (the Most High God) and He will be acknowledged by all.
Isaiah 45; 20 “Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save. 21 “Declare and set forth ;
Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it?
Is it not I, the LordAnd there is no other God besides Me,righteous God and a Savior; there is none except Me. 22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. 23 “I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear24 “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’
Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. 25 “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel will be justified and will glory.”
We know that even when Messiah Yeshua returns and proves himself King, even while ruling from Zion there will yet be sin, rebellion, and disbelief. There will still be those who opt for evil versus the service and obedience to One Who can melt mountains before Him.
Hebrews 6; 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.
II Thessalonians 2; 8 Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; 9 the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
focus

Going back to our Psalm and the admonition to Hate evil, we see that it is in contrast to the idolatry, the preservation of the soul of the righteous is in direct connection with their obedience to engage in the hatred of all that is evil….all that which opposes God and His word, His Torah- teaching and instruction.

How does a person who trusts and walks with HaShem hate evil? How do we apply this command for our lives? We will investigate these and other such questions as we journey into the perfect, active and living word. Something very important to understand is that to illuminate what evil is, there must be a contrast to it. One can not experience how encompassing the darkness of a room truly is until a candle is lit. That warmth and light not only exposes brilliance but it defines the shadow as well.

Our Psalmist described the day to come when all the earth will experience the presence of the Lord, that the mountains will melt and the entire world as we know it will be enabled to make a choice. At that time some will yet choose what the Lord explains is evil in His sight, the worship of false gods and idols. Idolatry can consist of anything you worship, honor, or elevate to a level which supersede’s God and His that which His word expresses as unacceptable, or on the other hand….when one ignores that which He requires. It can be yourself, your appearance, money, how you live, it can be your time, how you use it, it can be your family, whom you love, it can be anything that takes God’s place in your life, being an idolater is not simply defined by some acts of worship aimed at a carved image.

Mishlei (Proverbs) 8; 12  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge discretion.13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; גֵּאָה  pride and גָּאוֹן arrogance and the רַע evil  דֶּרֶךְ way and the תַּהְפֻּכוֹת perverted mouth, I hate. 14 “Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine.

The verse we will next look  toward is from Mishlei, the book of Proverbs, wherein we find another direct reference to the hatred of evil. This verse adds another dimension. We had established that the Lord will protect and deliver His people (those who hate evil) from the hand (denoting control and manipulation) of evil. Now we see that the Fear of the Lord, (remember that Fear in the Hebrew means awe, reverence, etc.) an essential and un-omit-able attribute for a true believer, is defined by the hatred of evil. One simply can not honor, fear, have reverence for HaShem while engaged in or even complacent regarding what He defines as evil. We tend to focus on the obvious evils we see all around us : murder, rape, theft, assault; but here in Proverbs God narrows and sharpens our focus to a more personal level. Pride, arrogance and the perverted mouth. God states expressly, “I hate” these things.

Take a look into the amazing insight we get from the simple definitions and roots of the words found in our text:

גֵּאָה- Ge’ahpride. (The form of this word is found only here in Proverbs.) This word comes from the root גָּאָה ga’ah- to rise; to lift oneself up to increase.

רַע- raevil, bad, wicked, deformed. This word describes the “way” God hates us to live. Way-> דֶּרֶךְ- Derek- a course of life or mode of action.

The root of evil- רָעַע- ra’a- to rush; breaking, crushing, trembling, evil, noxious, hurtful, envious, sad, to do ill; to be broken in pieces, hence to perish.

גָּאוֹן- Ga’own– ornament, glory, splendor, pride, arrogance. The root of arrogance is גָּאָה- ga’ah- to lift oneself up, to be exalted, magnificent, to honor, pride.

תַּהְפֻּכוֹת-tahpukahperversity, foolishness, deceit, fraud. The root of this deceitful mouth comes from the word הָפַךְ- turn the hand, or side; overturn or overthrow; turn convert or change; pervert or be perverse; spec. to be changed for the worse.

This convicted me immensely. I know not to bow down or pray to a statue, I attempt to use my time in honor of my King, but the struggle not to give myself any glory in what I do, the fight with the foolishness of my mode of action, the debate within regarding a change for the better or for the worse….is ongoing. If these things are what my King hates, I too must hate them. The Proverb goes on to explain to us,  whether we realize it or not, just as easily as idolatry, homosexuality, perversity, etc. lead to death and condemnation….so too the arrogance, pride, gossip, slander, and false witness borne will lead in that direction. It is serious. Finding favor with the Lord means we choose life instead, those who hate HaShem love death. That seems evident in today’s climate of evil.

Proverbs 8;  35 “For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord36 “But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death.”

holding light

Romans 12; 9 Love without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.

Here we find another direct reference to the hatred of evil from the Apostolic scriptures. The verse begins with love. There are four words for love in the Greek language, all of which hold different weight and meaning. This word is Agape. Agape expresses the kind of love that God has for His children. It is unconditional and expects nothing in return. This is how we are told to love, in addition we are to do so without hypocrisy. One English definition of Hypocrisy is:  the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense. The Greek word anupokritos  (an-oo-pok’-ree-tos) connotes sincerity. This is sincere and unfeigned love. Next we are told to abhor what is evil, to apostugeo  (ap-os-toog-eh’-o) utterly detest evil. This is not simply a preference for an option other than the evil, this is not merely a strong dislike for evil….it is total loathing. When I see these words before me I wonder….is it right to have that sensation inside of me?

What we are investigating is what it means to abhor something. We are not replacing something bad with another negative emotion and justifying it. What we are meant to do is to replace any room, any tolerance for evil with a drive and devotion for what is good. What is good? Every word which has come forth from the mouth of HaShem. James 1; 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

The author of Romans gives us some suggestions as to how to apply this abhorrence of evil and clinging to what is good. It involves frequent prayer, rejoicing despite troubles, giving to the needs of those you are in covenant with, providing for those who are even considered your foes, etc. There is one section which states to bless, to bless and not curse. It is not enough simply to do a good deed, you must also refrain from the cursing mentality even in the quiet places of your mind and heart. Doing good and walking in Godly works is wonderful but it does not cover over what is lacking. There is no amount of charity one can give which  will resolve an un-dealt with root of bitterness. No donation is worthy enough to cleanse a heart of vanity. We all have hidden evil and wickedness, the Holy Spirit and the Word will reveal it for us in often painful ways that the Lord may sand blast it from our lives forever. Then we will truly be overcome in doing good and be enabled to function with the sincere love which is essential for banishing evil. 

Romans 12; 10 Devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”….

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

hearts

In learning how to hate evil we should cautiously digest our role in judgment. We are not the judge yet we do have a standard by which to weigh the realities of our circumstances, that standard is the Word of HaShem. We need not judge because the righteous Judge has already made it clear what He expects of humanity in general, and in His covenant people. One need only to look into the light of the Torah to find how His standards exceed all natural inclination and shine a glorious light upon how far His thoughts exceed our own. So what about when bad things happen, what if we are the victims of a terrible crime? What if evil is placed upon us?

We live in a broken world, any value for morality is becoming void in our culture, the selfless love which heals the crumbling material we are bound to while in this journey has vanished and been replaced by a drive to feed the evil inclination latent in each one of us. To set oneself apart from this reality one should first realize that God is in control of all. He is Creator and there is nothing that transpires of which He is unawares. Evil rises and appears to have dominion….but one big mistake a person can make is the believe that evil has a power or control. There is no authority in Evil. God alone is the Sovereign . How then can bad things happen to good people? This question is far too difficult to attempt to answer in short . We can however establish that God offers each one of us two choices in every situation. It is most valuable to realize there really are only two options: light or dark, good or evil, death or life. If we opt for life and still find ourselves being seemingly ‘punished’ it is good to practice the evaluation of our choices. God is only light, there is no evil in Him at all, therefore when evil befalls us we forfeit an opportunity to really “own” what we have been dealt and use it to the utmost advantage for growth if we assign our bad experiences to some wicked force being behind them. If God is in control we must accept and believe that He can turn the bad into good and intends to do that in His gracious and loving nature. God will take the terrible outcomes woven into our destiny and use them to shape us into stronger more faithful warriors in the continued battle over the evil inclination.

Psalm 139; 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike .

Daniel 2; 22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him.

1 John 1; 5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32;35 Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.’ 36 “For the Lord will vindicate His people,
and will have compassion on His servants, when He sees that strength is gone, and there is none, bond or free.
37 “And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? 38 ‘Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you, let them be your hiding place!
39 ‘See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give lifeI have wounded and it is I who heal, and there is no one who can deliver from My hand. 40 ‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,and say, as I live forever. 41 If I sharpen My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me.

overshadow

The function of this post is not to stir up a fervor for zealotry. The intention is not to kindle the fire of a “holy rage” toward all evil doers and beings abiding in sin. To do so could be likened to a toddler attempting to cross between two high rise buildings on a thin cord. The purpose of this entry is to aide one another in our growth and attainment of basic (foundational) skills, we are learning how to walk.  So far we have established that in the delight of service to our King we can set ourselves apart from the evil in this world. We rejoice in times of trouble, we give when there is a need, we respond even to our enemies with compassion, we are meant to shine therefore exposing the shape of the darkness. We can define evil and take note of it through our own obedience to God’s word. We are told to hate evil, to utterly despise it and we do so not by producing more negativity but by going forth and doing the very opposite of what that evil has come to look like. We have established that we have a standard by which to live and learn meanwhile never taking vengeance, revenge or retribution into our own hands. The passage above expresses to us the dominion and authority of HaShem in the power of life and death. There is a movie called the The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus, the plot portrays a man with eternal life ‘racing’ with the devil to win souls. Once the Devil reaches a certain number of souls he ‘wins’. There are many details I am leaving out but my point is that this very scenario is none to far off from the typical reasoning among some believers. I believe merely based upon the passage above this notion could be disproved.

John 12; 30  Yeshua answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. 31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. 34 The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Messiah is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Yeshua said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”

Matthew 11; 27 All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal .

We have a great commission, we are meant to give the Good News to all people, we are meant to be the tool in our Carver’s hand to do His will and plant the good seed which will be fertilized and brought into life and good fruit by Him alone. There will be occasions where the seed is planted and no growth is evident. This is because there is free choice, there is evil (which is also a creation- meant to be the converse force to bring about that choice for good) and there is a consequence for that evil. Why innocent people suffer is a question for which there may be no answer, but for a moment let us cease thinking of the face of evil as a red faced man with a pitch fork. Imagine it as an energy or force , that is fed and nurtured each and every time a person sins in any way. This energy becomes ‘healthier’ and more comfortable in its surroundings the more it is satisfied and nourished. This force then becomes bolder and more capable of doing what its ‘nature’ is to do: steal, kill and destroy. In my opinion it is not God’s ‘fault’ when innocent people die, it is because of the evil which human beings have maintained and caused to grow by continually feeding, supplying, furnishing and even housing the evil within us. THIS is one reason we should learn how to properly expose evil in our lives and learn to hate it.

Ephesians 5; 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10  trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Messiah will shine on you.” 15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,16  making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

childs light

Jeremiah 4;6 “Lift up a standard toward Zion! Seek refuge, do not stand, for I am bringing evil from the north,
And great destruction. 

If one truly believes in the supreme authority of the Most High one can not say “the devil made me do it”. The Lord is in control, when bad things happen sometimes it is because a cleansing and awakening was necessary to bring his children back to Him.  Sometimes He removes His hand of protection from a place or a people and the evil that is already present begins to take hold. It is never that His hand is the evil force, but He can make use of the evil where it is ‘needed’ or ‘required’ sending it forth and then it does what it does in that place or person. Nearly every time you find destruction and devastation in the bible there will thereafter be healing,restoration and renewal. Namely where His covenant people are involved. What about the times when there is no apparent ‘call’ for what happens, or when there is so much ‘collateral damage’ that one can’t fathom God being in anyway involved in such terrible situations? Why does evil and death come upon the innocent? Again we find a question which can not be answered simply or in short. Life is a series of trials and tests, perhaps even this question….where will we focus our energies and our devotion? Will it be on the extreme situations that are beyond us? or will it be in the mercies, wonders, favors and love that surround us every single day. Horror and terror are easy to focus on, pain is palpable and unmistakable. How often do we forget to seek the silver lining? How often do we forget how very blessed each of us is? How often do we loose sight of the objectives the Lord has for us when we are in the midst of attacking doubt and dismay?

Jeremiah 30; 11 ‘For I am with you,’ declares the Lord, ‘to save you; for I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you,only I will not destroy you completely. But I will chasten you justly and will by no means leave you unpunished.’

James 1; 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have  perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

PERSEVERANCE – defined in English as steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles,or discouragement.

Defined in the Greek – hupomone (hoop-om-on-ay’) – cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy.

pain in the process

We are meant to defy evil with the capability to yet delight in a Father who chastens us. To rejoice in the Lord despite the worst circumstances. Steadfast constancy, steadfast waiting for, a patient enduring- these are in my experience…. nearly supernatural character traits, superhuman attributes. They do not come natural, yet they are not impossible to attain, and they hold a power over evil which goes beyond us. If you can bear the pain inflicted upon you, and overcome doubt in your King, if you can not only bear with Him but find gladness in the notion that He is taking you through something to make you stronger, if you can trust Him patiently and with a steadfast heart…evil in your life will be vanquished and flee. Why? Evil can not be sustained in such an environment. It dies where there is steadfast patience, trust and hope in the Lord….especially when bad things happen to us.

Tehillim (Psalms) 112; 7 He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast (כּוּן- Kuwn), trusting in the LordHis heart is upheld, he will not fear, until he looks on his adversaries.He has given freely to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be exalted in honor.

 

כּוּן- Kuwn– to exist; to found; to direct; to turn one’s mind; to be established (used of one’s steps); to set up, erect, to strengthen; to direct, to aim (as a weapon); to apply one’s mind; to prepare oneself, make ready for; that which is sincere; to be firm, intrepid.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 8; 2 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.4 Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5 Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6 Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

 

When are we most vulnerable to the snares of the evil inclination? How can we defend ourselves against these tendencies? Mishlei (Proverbs) 28 explains a very clear path to guarding against evil, to keep, to hear, to act on, to uphold and value the Torah of HaShem. What is the Torah- is it the ‘Old Testament’ the Psalms, is it the Prophets? The Gospels? Yes. [John 10;34 Yeshua answered them, “Has it not been written in your Torah, ‘I said, you are gods’? * Yeshua referring to Psalm 82 and calling it the Torah.] Torah is the teaching and instruction of the Lord. Unchangeable, imperishable, perfect and true. I had an experience recently where I was chatting about a Torah scroll cake design I intended to make (as requested) for my children on their birthday. As I was speaking my companions daughter approached and asked what a Torah scroll was, her parent treated it almost as a dirty word explaining it was a bible and quickly changing subjects. Stripping oneself of the Righteous ordinances and modes of action, the “way” to walk in holiness before HaShem means one is tearing holes in one’s battle array, one’s armor. Without daily consuming the good word of God as if our lives depended upon it, without prayer, without application of the word by doing good works with a pure heart, without fellowship, without the abstaining from evil speech (which includes worthless idle chatter, gossip and slander) and unjust weights and measures (this includes bearing a false witness, or failing to be fair in dealings with the payment of debts or an employee’s earning at due time,etc. ) we will be very vulnerable to attack. Ceasing to worship and delight in being a servant of HaShem even when we feel we are being afflicted is also a sensitive time.

torah

Mishlei (Proverbs) 28;1  The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding knowledge, so it endures.
A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is  a driving rain which leaves no food.
Those who forsake the Torah praise the wicked,
But those who keep the Torah strive with them.
Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the Lord understand all things.
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.
He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.
He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.
He who turns away his ear from listening to the Torah,
Even his prayer is an abomination.
10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes will find compassion.

I Thessalonians teaches that it is possible to live peacefully while abstaining from evil. This abstinence will be a process. The definition of the word explains it, this is a struggle between the “fallen” nature of man and the soul, one will need to suppress the evil urges and it will take effort.

Apechomai ap-ekh’-om-ahee- to hold oneself off, i.e. refrain.

We don’t have to imitate the evil around us in order to have peace in our lives, there is a choice. We don’t have to apologize for our separation,  meanwhile we aren’t permitted to be cruel. Once again, our delight in the Word of HaShem and the manner by which we shine forth those righteous and holy truths in our walk in the physical realm will be the way evil is defined and thereby abhorred.

I Thessalonians 5;13…. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Yeshua the Messiah. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything,hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain (apechomai) from every form of evil.

star

Jeremiah 4; 14 Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?

Read the following Hebrew terms and defintions from Jeremiah 4;14….
כבסי kabac kaw-bas- to trample; hence, to wash (properly, by stamping with the feet), whether literal (including the fulling process) or figurative.

תלין luwn (loon) or liyn {leen}- to stop (usually over night); by implication, to stay permanently; hence (in a bad sense) to be obstinate (especially in words, to complain).
אונך aven (aw-ven) from an unused root perhaps meaning properly, to pant (hence, to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to naught); strictly nothingness; also trouble. vanity, wickedness; specifically an idol.

Read the verse again…..
Jeremiah 4; 14 Wash (כבסי kabac) your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts (אונך aven) lodge ( תלין luwn) within you?

We are to put under our feet the evil from our hearts, and forbid idolatry in any form from making a permanent home therein. Here we learn that evil will seek lodging in our hearts and we must be very careful to identify it in that place and completely demolish it.

The following passage is loaded with applicable and practical operatives for each one of us. First off, going into our trials, tribulations and altercations with evil knowing that IF we believe in God’s Name declared upon us….we will approach everything with the Fear of the Lord which is required to make it through anything (and even shine forth from the midst of it). What is the most important thing of all to HaShem? Is it trust, is it faithfulness, is it love? All these things are wonderful….but it is taught that foremost must be Fear. Fear is reverence, the term does not mean to be scared or to function based on the acknowledgment of punishment for misdeeds. Fear is awe, wonder, absolute deference. Any deed done based upon love, a warm feeling, a sense of accomplishment (even for all the right reasons) is still something which is prone to pass and fade. Trust is necessary, without a sense of reliance upon God where does one find oneself? Yet, even trust and love cater to human frailty and can be re-positioned or become malleable according to the circumstances which arise.

hold

True Fear of the Lord, Holy Fear, which causes one to remember the Creator for Who He is, all He has done, and to believe sincerely and thus tremble (at His feet, in the smallest appointment any son of Adam is properly prescribed to….) is not something which will pass when trouble arises, nay….it will become stronger and more vivid for it is based solely upon Him and His nature and performance. Love, trust, devotion all follow when one begins at a healthy fear and reverence for the Lord Most High. Once one realizes that the closer one gets to the Vast and Matchless Power and Majesty of HaShem, the more one recognizes how little we really do know. Then we are in the place of humility which will lead to repentance and thereby a closeness with HaShem. For in His Vast Entirety He has indeed invested His identity in you, His child. We read in Timothy the very Hebraic (and even Kabalistic) ideals of creating vessels by which the Lord can work in this world. We create these vessels by restraining the evil impulses we have and doing good in this world. Loving, being kind and patient especially when it is a challenging situation creates a vessel, a channel, a place for God’s light to come into this world. A vessel can even be as seemingly small as a smile instead of a frown or downward glance. We read that repentance and a knowledge of the truth (the Word of God) is how one can escape the snare of evil!

 

II Timothy 2; 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

what it loos like

The following text is read between commandments to tear down all the idolatrous shrines and high places within the land of Canaan, these instructions are given before the Children of Israel have entered the land. There are texts speaking of the false prophets within the midst of people who are leading the people away from HaShem and His commandments for them, and warnings about fellow brethren who might rise to do the same (convince the people of God that His laws aren’t necessary and that they should instead resemble and go after the ways of the Pagan nations whom preceded them.) If the people come to find out, once having settled there, that one of their cities has become corrupted they are to seek the matter our and investigate it. If it is found that this city is treacherous and abhorrent evil acts have been and will continue to be performed there, causing great peril to the whole assembly (the entire family of Israel) in that they too might become infected by such emulating or even becoming complacent toward such behavior….if this happens the people are to take all the despicable tools for such evils, all the idols and offenses to the Lord and burn them. All that was of value in that city is to be set ablaze and completely burnt. No scrap or trace of these evil things are to cling to your hand. Totally abolished.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13; 16 Then you shall gather all its booty into the middle of its open square and burn the city and all its booty with fire as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God; and it shall be a ruin forever. It shall never be rebuilt. 17 Nothing from that which is put under the ban shall cling to your hand, in order that the Lord may turn from His burning anger and show mercy to you, and have compassion on you and make you increase, just as He has sworn to your fathers,18 if you will listen to the voice of the Lord your God, keeping all His commandments which I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.
The word for cling is דָּבַק – Dabaq- meaning to follow hard, to be glued together to adhere, to attach oneself, to be attached to . Did you notice that the entire city is to be burned? First the heap of waste (the term for that which is ‘put under ban’ in the Hebrew is a gained thing.) and then the entire city, it will never be rebuilt and will serve as a reminder and in taking care of these evils in such a definitive way His own burning anger is turned back and he is merciful, compassionate and restores the lives who were lost with even more than at first.

many flames can be lit

Bemidbar (Numbers) 16; 19 Thus Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And the glory of the Lord appeared to all the congregation. 20 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 21 “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.” 22 But they fell on their faces and said, “O God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will You be angry with the entire congregation?”  23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the congregation, saying, ‘Get back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram.’” 25 Then Moses arose and went to Dathan and Abiram, with the elders of Israel following him, 26 and he spoke to the congregation, saying, “Depart now from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing that belongs to them, or you will be swept away in all their sin.” 27 So they got back from around the dwellings of Korah, Dathan and Abiram; and Dathan and Abiram came out stood at the doorway of their tents, along with their wives and their sons and their little ones….31 As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open;32 and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with  possessions. 33 So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly.

This makes me personally desire to take a real accounting of what it is that I am attached to. Looking into the text of Korah and the rebellion which threatened the entire order of HaShem and His Holy Sanctuary (i.e. the High Priestly appointment) as well as challenging the leadership of Moshe (friend of God), we see the same terminology used as above. The congregation was warned not to even come close to the rebels. The people were told that they were not to allow themselves to even touch anything belonging to Korah and his assembly….lest their sins become attached to the people, or perhaps….lest the people become attached to anything gained, anything corrupted, any- thing which could infect their hearts as it had infected Korah. These m en are called wicked, it is a convicting thought to bear….our vicinity to sin and wickedness appears to be accounted as if we were a part of that sin, thus deserving of a part of the punishment for it. Sometimes a person has no choice. The Christians trapped in Middle Eastern Lands who are denied refuge in other countries and risk their lives practicing their faith….what choice have they? But WE do have a choice and freedom. This is another key in hating evil, we should really beware of whom we surround ourselves with. Not only who we surround ourselves with but what we surround ourselves with. We are either feeding and filling our vessels for the light and Spirit of God or we are feeding and fostering evil or the chance of evil infecting our lives. This fact demands we consider carefully what we read, listen to, watch, and also what we produce (in word, thought and deed). Let us exercise this freedom with humility not condemning others for the way they walk, but all the while being aware of the open pits which we need not fall into, minding what we allow ourselves to become attached to.

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13; 6 “If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end),8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. 10 So you shall stone him to death because he has sought to seduce you from the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such a wicked thing among you.

strong

The text above is by far one of the most challenging passages for me out of all of scripture. In my own mind and heart I am reconciled with the true belief that my God and King is Just and Righteous and only makes these ordinances as a warning and safeguard for His people whom He loves dearly to be protected and safe from the ultimate outcome of all sin and evil…death, and separation from Him forever. To my heart and mind I trust Him in that and I know that historically there are very very few documentations of any such capital punishments even taking place (this is evidence that our Knowing King and His ways did prevail, His warnings had an effect). Still when looking into the heart of the Torah and seeking to understand the Spirit of each Command, we have to endeavor to apply it. There are so many arguments to the effect of : “The Torah is done away with, no one can keep the Torah, if you don’t keep the whole Torah you are cursed so why try? Oh, so you’re going to go do capital punishment now so that you can keep this command?” Quite literally these statements and sarcastic questions completely miss the point. Understanding a commandment means we are going to learn something about it’s Author. Seeking to keep the spirit of a command will enable us to become closer to Him, it is a blessing rather than a burden to seek the wondrous things of His Torah. Capital punishment may not seem to wondrous to some but when you look into the depth of this passage and the weight it carries…..we learn that we are not to cave in to the pressures for evil in this world. EVEN when it is someone we love as our own SOUL, the closest one to you….if he is causing you to turn to evil and to flee from HaShem, he is ultimately endangering your life (for the world to come) and God is warning us not to think that even if we have a close relationship with any man, that this person is more important than what God has set out for you to do. This is all important as we near a time period in which we are taught that families will be split and brothers turned against each other….one needs to know who their true friends and family are and to know where one stands in position to combating evil. Even when it is in our own home, it must be addressed and removed.

Colossians 3; Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside:anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its practices, 10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— 11  in which there is no Greek and Jew,circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Messiah is all, and in all.

What is evil? What is an abomination to the Lord?

(see this post for more on the subject: https://safeguardingtheeternal.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/what-is-an-abomination/)

Reading the incredible verses above we find some answers which might shake us up at least in part. The number one thing that God spoke out in the 10 Words is regarding idolatry. Above we find no mention of bowing to a statue or venerating an image….we read that immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and GREED are all idolatry. It is because of anger, malice, SLANDER and abusive speech that the wrath of God comes upon sons who practice such things. If we are dead to these things we will not revisit them, we will not be able to. If we are a new person we may still sin but when we do we will feel badly about it. This is not proof of how awful we are, it is proof that the Holy Spirit is living inside of us. It hates those evil attributes and will make us (sometimes physically) ill when we come into contact with them. This is all a part of becoming like Yeshua, this work will not be complete until the perishable becomes imperishable. This is a life long process. So the next time you mess up and feel sick about it, repent and know that there is something inside of you making you feel that way. Something very good, which can not exist with the other side, the shadow and darkness becomes defined by that Godly image inside of you….just longing to be lit up and enabled to shine!

I John 2; 15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world,the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

 

heart1

If you are still wondering how to hate what is evil, if you are still wondering how to define what evil is….consider the verses above. The music, the sports, the stars, the money, the power, the trappings of this world….everything that the majority says is ‘Good.’ is most often majorly opposing that which God says is “Good.” Holiness, purity, personal responsibility, discretion, kindness, generosity, forgiveness; are these things stressed in our culture? This world is predominantly evil, IF you want to gauge what is good and what is to be abhorred ask ‘the world’ what it says is permitted and then do the opposite- always testing each and every move against the standard for living which we have been GIVEN, God’s word.

Acts 3; 25 It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26 For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one from your wicked ways.”

We were sent a perfect example of how a man can walk in an evil, fallen broken world and elevate it to heights never before assumed. We have eyewitness testimony to the fact that Yeshua, who was tested and tempted and prodded and pried….who felt, mourned, hungered, thirsted, was attacked and despised was extant amid evil and yet fell not into its grasp. When offered the world he opted for service, when teased with what his body yearned for he chose the Word as his sustenance, when he was asked to prove his capability to save himself and allow the whole of creation to suffer….he chose instead the most shameful, painful, humiliating death in order to offer all mankind life forever.  His desire is to bless, but first must come repentance. To defeat evil one must never fail to turn and turn and turn again away from it no matter how relentless it may become. It can be done, he has proven it!

cross

Isaiah 58; 1“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himselfIs it for bowing one’s head like a reed and for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord“Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the houseWhen you see the naked, to cover him;and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn,and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.9  “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness10 And if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,  then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom like midday. 11 “And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.12 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.

Thus far I hope and pray we have learned a little about combating, opposing, defining, and abhorring evil.  We have established several concepts which I pray will assist each one of us in the increasingly evil days on the horizon. Of all the things we may have gleaned in this place the passage above is perhaps the most important. If we really want to strike back, to defy, to oppose evil….do good. Give, love, heal, strengthen, speak hope to someone. Give more charity, offer more time to those in need or a just cause. Gift what you are able to gift and do it with delight knowing that you are thwarting the designs of the destructive forces set against a loving, giving, compassionate King who is coming soon to rule and reign. The apparent dominance of evil is nearly at its cusp. It will increase and seem hopeless at times, but there will always be that light defining the shadows. Therefore we must endeavor to be that light, who knows how the blind may become inducted and inclined toward that light and thereby find Salvation. Doing good, especially when it is inconvenient or seemingly impossible, is a slap in the face of evil and a definitive method for hating evil.

lightvsdark

 

Titus 2; 11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Yeshua the Messiah, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

 

Blessed are You Lord our God Creator and King of the universe, You have blessed us with Your Torah of Truth, You have blessed us with the entire counsel of Your living word. You alone have planted among us life eternal. Blessed are You Lord our God, B’Shem Yeshua HaMashiac, Amein

 

Father, You know all. I would take again all the pain that we have experienced of late again ten fold if it meant the illumination of one heart to Your grace and mercy. May we never be tested to the point of denial or refusal or even complacence….please give us the tools we need to overcome all evil and to banish it from our lives. May this and all produce honor and glorify You.

 

mitzvoth

 

Contact:

safeguardingtheeternal@aol.com

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