“For He knows worthless men, when he sees iniquity, will He not consider it?” - Job 11:11
This word worthless has come up many times in the last few weeks. It's a dark word and brings to mind some horrible events in the Bible of men who committed great sin. It was in Judges 19:22 "the men of the city, worthless fellows, surrounded the house, beating on the door;" where rape and murder occurred. In 1 Samuel 2:12 "Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord." They treated the office of priest with disdain and tarnished the image of God to the people. 1 Samuel 25:17 speaks of Nabal who refused to help King David..."And he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him."
And how can we recognize this characteristic? It’s displayed in crimes against others, people who will not hear wisdom or truth, and who do not know the Lord. When we have all three, it’s a dangerous time for us all, but also the days we are all living in. Why such a dark word that I'm sharing? Because as much as we want to deny the reality of evil all around us and shield our hearts from the pain of it, God wants to use that pain to impact this world. We are a people that break every commandment so easily and see people as worthless too. Abortions and the lives of babies discarded as an inconvenience, sex slave trafficking because they provide money and an opportunity for men to sin at will. Physical, emotional and sexual abuse to women and children because it gratifies the need to rule over someone and feed selfishness. Murder to satisfy vengeance and man’s wrath.
Even in my own little world that I occupy, just a few events of the last few weeks: a mobile home was burglarized of $2,000 worth of tools possibly by another tenant, a former tenant was arrested for sexual assault to two little children. I spoke with two women, one who is being emotionally abused by her husband, and another whose marriage is falling apart because of selfishness. Lies are the normal language for most of the people I have to deal with on a weekly basis. They delight in telling me of unrighteousness they commit, how they cheated or stole or lied, with no remorse. And when I do speak of the Lord, they really like Jesus but have no conviction and change nothing; disheartening and frustrating to say the least.
At times I can become so angry at the evil happening around me and in the world. I’m angry that the wicked and worthless seem to triumph and escape judgment continually. My flesh wants to take things into my hands and fight back and hurt those who hurt others. And in those moments of rage, frustration and helplessness, God reveals the depths of my own sin to me. I too, can lie to protect myself; steal for my gain; put myself above my child's life and abort it; abuse another and strip away their God given dignity for my profit; murder to avenge or satisfy my wrath; and seek power to rule over others.
And I am overwhelmed by the evil that can still come out of my heart even today. Oh it may not reveal itself in those extreme actions, it may be in ignoring another person’s pain or lashing out in anger to a family member because I’m hurt, or in avoiding confrontation with unrighteousness and witnessing or in anger fantasies. My indifference and lack of love is a sin against God's greatest commandment, to love Him and to love others. It is only by His grace that I have not deteriorated to the level of those without the Lord, but we all can get there so quickly, because sin is the easy road. Godliness is the hard way.
I am broken by the evil God must see upon this earth every day and still even within His children’s hearts. I cry out for God to forgive me. And when I am broken by the world’s evils and my own sinful tendencies, He empowers me to cry out for Him to stop the sin and evil and to be merciful to the wicked, for the reality is, God does see and one day He will repay. "For He knows worthless men, when he sees iniquity, will He not consider it?"- Job 11:11 Though many will escape punishment here, God has missed nothing and will repay. As the days get darker, that is our light and hope and our comfort when we encounter evil personally.
And we are given a way to endure and triumph through these evil times - Love. God calls us to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:44-45) We are not called to only be repulsed and angry at the evil we see and feel helpless to stop, but to use that brokenness to pray and ask God to love through us and to pray for God’s intervention where it is hopeless and long for the restoration of God’s glory. We boldly stand where God says to stand and patiently endure where God says to endure. Both must be motivated by His love. For Love never fails.
Prayer: Father use what the enemy meant for evil and transform it into an unfailing love that comes from the power of Your Son. Help us to be broken and get involved in those lives that are touched by the evil in this world and be your hand of restoration and healing. Help us face the injustices You allow in our lives, not with anger and retaliation, nor with fear and pacification, but with bold love full of grace and truth and empowered with much fervent praying to see your glory.
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Christy Cox is an author and believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.