Removing wickedness

Judges 20:13: Now then, deliver up the men, the worthless fellows in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and remove this wickedness from Israel.” But the sons of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the sons of Israel.

The rest of the children of Israel have zero tolerance for sin, but the children of Benjamin did not share that tendency. They would rather condone sin than confront it. That is the thrust of the focus verse (Judges 19-20).

Those who cared probably remembered what happened in the time of Joshua where the sin of a man –Achan, led to the defeat of the nation in a battle against Ai (Joshua 7).

So the children of Israel now on hearing about the evil perpetrated by some of them, did not wave it away, but took it serious and wanted to “judge themselves so that they will not be judged (1Corinthians 11:31).”

A lesson we can learn from this is that the call for holiness should sound for all corners because Christ is still coming for a church that is without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-30). Peter made the call in his lifetime, “be holy as the Lord your God is holy (1Peter 1:15-16).” We need to be holy in all our conduct. That means we should act without any hint of impurity.

Merely saying you are committed to change on the holiness path is not enough, there must be commitment to the tools that will enhance that change, towards turning the thoughts of our hearts constantly to God, towards guard our hearts with all diligence because out of it comes the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). We should do what the psalmist did. He said: your words have I put in my heart that I may not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).

We need commitment to transformation through commitment to the word of God, prayer and fellowship with like-minded believers. We are told that we should desire the sincere milk of the word of God, through which we will grow (1Peter 2:2). Note that it is what we are occupied with that will determine the changes we experience, positively and negatively.

Peter wrote: flee youthful lust which wars war against your soul (1Peter 2:11). That means “lust” would want nothing more than to sit as king in our lives. (Lust is a pull to o the wrong things). That is not the life God wants for us. We are supposed to go from glory to glory as we behold Jesus (2Corinthians 3:18), as we look to Him in his word, and in the place of prayer, we are changed.

Through those means, we rid ourselves of the tendencies of the flesh and enhance our capability to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25). It is by walking in the spirit that we would not fulfil the lusts of the flesh, i.e. the tendencies of the sinful nature. It is by actively engaging in spiritual interactions in the things of God, availing ourselves of the changes that come from being in the presence of God, from being engaged with His Spirit (2Corinthians 13:14).

We should all be aware of wicked tendencies in ourselves. At the least, it is expressed in the tendency to hit back at others. That was the tendency that Cain exhibited that he sinned against God and was turned into a vagabond on the earth (Genesis 4:1-16).

God had accepted the sacrifice of Abel his younger brother, but not his own. He was angry with towards God, himself and his brother. That anger stirred up murderous intent in him which he eventually expressed. The same thing happened with Esau, the older of the twin sons of Isaac and Rebecca.

Just as Cain wanted the approval of God on his own terms and did not get it, so also Esau wanted the blessing of the father by his own effort of going out to get game for his father and did not get the blessing. But Jacob, who did not do anything, as it where, but had things done for him (by his mother who provided what to give the father), made the father delightsome and provoked a blessing from him on Jacob.

Because of that Esau, was angry with Jacob, he was angry that his brother got what he wanted and decided to kill him. While Abel did not know of his brother’s (Cain) intention to kill him, Jacob got to know of Esau’s intent and ran for his life (Genesis 27).

Jesus called the Pharisees murderers, generation of vipers, accusing them of being intent on killing him because they were jealous of His claim to intimacy with God by sonship (John 8:39-44). That means he was above them. They shook their pride in position.

John the Apostle warned of the love of the world which counters the love of the father (1John 2:15-17). The love of the world manifests as lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. They compromise our attachment to the Father.

The pride of life was very prominent in the life of the Pharisees preventing them from coming to know the truth in Jesus and causing them to want to get rid of him, and did not rest until they did, getting him crucified.

The wickedness in their hearts was stirred up when someone (Jesus) came along who threatened the pride in their hearts, which is the pride in position.

The pride of the heart of Esau was to enjoy all the privileges that come with being the first born. The pride of the Pharisee was rule the religious life of the people in Israel. When someone came along threatened that pride of life, the resorted to killing him. The same trait was seen in Cain and with Esau.

The blood of Jesus serves to remove wickedness from our hearts. So that we are rid of the lust of the flesh, pride of life and the lust of the eyes. We need to embrace the fact that the blood of Jesus brings us into that reality, understanding the love of the father had been shed abroad in our hearts so that we might express the supernatural tendencies of God and be rid of wickedness (Romans 5:5).

 

One thought on “Removing wickedness

  1. Amen, brother, we have to be delivered from sin that besets us. There are curses and demons which need to go, out of us. Jesus gives us the authority to cast them out, and break curses with the blood of Jesus. Giving up sin isn’t easy, but this is a battle, and we want to stop the Devil from killing, stealing, and destroying our lives, and those we love.

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