Tuesday, October 21, 2014
October 20 – Want to be safe?
Turn away from evil and do what is good, and dwell there forever. For the Lord loves justice and will not abandon His faithful ones. They are kept safe forever, but the children of the wicked will be destroyed. (Psalm 37:27,28 HCSB)
God is not a stern judge who enjoys punishing people whenever they do any little thing wrong. Though Jesus perfectly kept the Law when He lived on earth, a law that condemned adultery, lying, theft, and murder, He forgave people who had broken it. He forgave the woman that was caught in adultery, and even forced her accusers who who wanted to stone her, to think about their own sins. He also forgave Zacchaeus, a huge liar and thief, and He forgave a murderer when He took Barabbas’ place on the cross. The Lord Jesus never broke the Law of God given to Moses, but when it came to its application to other people He chose mercy over judgment. He opted to concentrate on people’s character rather than their outward actions.
Jesus told the adulteress that she was free to go after her accusers had one by one walked away, but told her to “go and sin no more.” During the dinner that Zacchaeus put on for Jesus, he stood up and declared that he would not longer live the life of a thief, and promised to pay back every penny he had stolen. Clearly, Jesus was ready to forgive any sin or weakness, but came to teach people a better way, the way of turning away from evil and doing good. Hundreds of years after Psalm 37 had been written, Jesus came and lived it out as an example to all.
The more we turn away from evil and do good, the closer God will be to us. He promises not to abandon those who live good lives. We can say that we love God all we want, but that love will always be imperfect as long as we do not HATE sin and the devil. How can we love a holy God when we don’t hate unholiness? Impossible.
For our own good we need to choose to turn away from evil whenever it appears; the sooner we get away from it the better. God promises not to abandon His faithful ones, but when we choose not to turn away from evil, we ourselves push Him away and tie His hands that are so eager to help us.