Doing good in God’s sight (2)

2Kings 24:19: And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

Just as some did well in the sight of God others did evil, among the kings of Israel. It is interesting that those who do good and those who do evil, are usually associated with one role model or the other. In the focused verse the king whose reign was reported (Zedekiah) was said to have patterned his evil doing after a previous king, Jehoiakim.

Paul said: don’t be deceived, evil communication (association) corrupts good manners (1Corinthians 15:33). And that is why the writer of the book of Hebrews says that we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, because by doing so we would be encouraging one another to be better.

Jesus told the disciples to beware of associating with the Pharisee so that they won’t be influenced by their hypocrisy (Luke 12:1). Paul said we should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers; and that was what God wants, for us to be separated to him (2Corinthians 6:14-18). He instituted that for the nation of Israel when he brought them from the land of Egypt. He wanted a people separated to him, influenced by his word and not by the evil practices of the nations in the land he wanted them to occupy.

They were not supposed to mix with them in marriage, because through that they will inevitably be wrongly influenced by those twisted cultures, full of idolatry and other sinful acts of a people without the true God.

Those we associate with will influence us. When Eve stated talking to the devil, it was the beginning of the end of her stay in the Garden of Eden. In the association of the devil with Eve, he sowed the seed of distrust in God in her because the people we associate can leave thought seeds in us, we learn from them (Genesis 3).

You cannot behave more that you have learnt, either covertly or overtly. That is why Paul told the church in Ephesus that right behaviour comes from learning “Christ” (Ephesians 18-22). God put forth his Son as the one we should listen to (Luke 9:35). The disciples of Jesus asked him after observing his prayer life. They said: teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.

For the Pharisees, Jesus rebuked them from going to the ends of the earth to seek for disciples and at the make them twice a candidate of hell as they are (Matthew 23:15). He wanted the people to beware of their practices. In the sermon of the mount, he said they should not be like the gentile when they pray who by repetition thought they would be heard, he wanted them to also not be like those who when they fast would want everyone to know about it. Those were prevailing practices at that time and Jesus wanted his disciples to stay clear of them (Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18).

We need training in righteousness (2Timothy 3:16), as over our lifetime we have been trained in evil, which is a legacy we get from having the nature of the fallen Adam in us, added to the societal pressure and the prevailing mindset of the people around us. We need training in righteousness, and Paul said that the scripture is to be used to train us in righteousness, in right behaviour.

A psalmist prayed: teach me your ways oh Lord and I will walk in your truth (Psalm 86:11). Our walk is our life, the way we live. And Enoch is an example of walking with God. He walked with God, walked in his truth for 300 hundred years (Genesis 5:21-24).

Jesus said we should learn from him so that we would find rest for our soul, because what we learn affect how we live (Matthew 11:28-30). Whatever area we need to change or we are feeling challenged, we need to find out the truth we lack and shore up on that. That is why a psalmist said to God: your words of truth have I hidden in my heart so that I would please you (Psalm 110:11). If it’s in your heart, it will be in your life. The bible says that as we think in our heart, so we are (Proverbs 23:7).

There is a close relationship between what we have been taught and how we live. When Eve took time to be fed lies by the devil, she inevitably went the wrong way in behaviour, that is why Jesus said that if we continue with him, we will know the truth and that will help us walk free from the hold of sin (John 8:30-36).

The spiritual leaders have the role to feed people with truth. God said he will give his people shepherds who will feed them with knowledge and understanding, not activities (Jeremiah 3:15). That shows the power of knowing the right things, and how that powers right behaviour. God designed a church system of spiritual leaders who will dedicate themselves to feeding the people with truth, so that they will turn out right, be like Jesus who is the truth (John 14:6).

Humanity is deficient in the word of the truth, the word of God. Since we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, from the very presence of God, there was formed a great gulf between man and God, but through the ministration of the word, of the truth of the divine life, that gulf is being bridged.

Jesus felt compassion for the people that they were like sheep without shepherd and taught them (Mark 6:34). It is a sad thing to be devoid of truth, to be untaught in the right knowledge. It is needed to contribute to the renewal of the mind of the believers so that they will not conform to the pattern of this worldly life, but the pattern of the heavenly life (Romans 12:1-2).

Doing evil in the sight of God attracts his judgement. But the number one evil of all time can do is to reject the truth of the word of God concerning salvation through Jesus, there is no other way by which we might be saved except through Jesus Christ.

There is no greater evil than to reject Jesus. It has eternal consequences. That is the sin against the Holy Spirit, to leave this earth without embracing the blood of Jesus as shed for the remission of our sins; it is those un-remitted sins that will take us to hell, not because of lack of solution from God, but lack of belief in Jesus, not because of your many sins, but because you reject God’s way for you.

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