Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely , whatever is of good report, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, ponder on these things. - Philippians 4:8

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Love does not delight in evil - 1 Corinthians 13:6a (NIV)

      “Has anybody ever read from the book of Third Corinthians?” Randy asked as he started off a discussion for the youth group. His goal was to teach a little history from the early church fathers but before he could ever get to the lesson, he decided he needed to talk about role models instead mostly thanks to Tracy McDonald.

     “Third Corinthians?” Stella smirked when she heard that, “There’s no such book in the Bible.” “You’re right.” Randy told her, “There is however a letter written to the Corinthians by a man named Clement.” “Cement?” Bernadette exclaimed, “That must be a hard to read.” “Clement not cement, Bernadette.” Randy replied “And it’s possible he is the same Clement that Paul mentions in his letter to the Philippians. Isn’t that cool.” Randy knew teenagers liked to use the word “cool.”

     “Maybe.” Tracy responded, “But it’s not as cool as the Boppin Pig.” “The Boppin Pig?” Randy questioned, “Who or what may I ask is the Boppin Pig?” “That's the code name for Tom Smith” Tracy answered. “And who is Tom Smith?” Randy asked. “Just a man about the size of a semi truck.” Tracy said, “And he's so cool.”

     “The size of a Semi Truck?” Randy asked. “Just about.” Tracy replied. “According to the farm news on TV last night he weighs in at 852 pounds. He is so cool.” “852 pounds!” Randy exclaimed, “No one ways that much.” “But he does.” Tracy said, “They interviewed him while he was eating and I can see why. He ate like a pig. I wish I could eat like that.”

     “What! You want to eat like a pig?” Randy asked in shock. “Yeah.” Tracy replied, “I'm tired of table manners.” “Sounds like your Tom Smith needs someone to teach him manners.” Randy claimed. “I don't think so.” Tracy laughed, “The interviewer tried and it was so cool.” “What was cool” Randy asked. “You don’t tell a 852 pound man what to do.” Tracy responded, “He bopped him.”

     “He bopped him?” Randy questioned. “Yeah.” Tracy giggled, “He sent him flying clear across the room and then it was the camera mans turn. He scolded Tom for boppin Joe. So Tom got up knocking over the table, picked up the camera man and threw him out the window. It was so cool.” “That doesn’t sound cool to me.” Randy shuddered, “In fact it’s sounds out right terrible.”

     “I guess he does it all the time.” Tracy responded, “He even has a fan mail club and a web sight. WWW dot Boppin Pig.” “You mean People actually like what he does?” Randy asked. “Of course,” Tracy replied, “After all, he’s so cool.” Trying to turn things back to God, Randy asked, “Do you think God likes what he does?” “As big as he is,” Tracy replied, “I don’t think God would even try to stop him.” With those words, Randy set aside his scheduled talk on history and focused on God's size and our role models.”

     Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled before the Philistines and fell slain on Mount Gilboa. And the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines struck down Jonathan and Abinadab and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. The battle pressed hard against Saul, and the archers found him, and he was badly wounded by the archers. Then Saul said to his armor-bearer, "Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and mistreat me." But his armor-bearer would not, for he feared greatly. Therefore Saul took his own sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword and died with him. Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.
1 Samuel 31:1-6 (ESV)

     A tragic end comes to king Saul and his sons. They are at war with the Philistines, again, and this time an arrow hits Saul. To avoid capture he asks his armor bearer to kill him but he refuses. Saul kills himself and than the armor bearer follows suit. But somebody was watching. Here is a summary of 2 Samuel 1:1-16
     On the third day, behold, a man came from Saul's camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. And when he came to David, he fell to the ground and paid homage. David said to him, "How did it go? Tell me." And he answered, "The people fled from the battle, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead." Then David said to the young man who told him, "How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?" And the young man who told him said, "Saul said to me, 'Stand beside me and kill me, for anguish has seized me, and yet my life still lingers.' So I stood beside him and killed him and I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord." Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening. And David said to the young man "How is it you were not afraid to put out your hand to destroy the LORD's anointed?" Then David called one of the young men and said, "Go, execute him."

     Unlike the man who claimed to kill Saul, unlike Tracy who thought the Boppin Pig was cool, David did not delight in evil. Problem is, too many of us do and God warns against such behavior for it does not match with the Bible's definition of Love.

     There is much danger when it comes to treating evil as good. Here's is some of what the Bible has to say:
  • Malachi 2:17 - You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, "How have we wearied him?" By saying, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them." Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?" (ESV)
  • Proverbs 17:15 - He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD. (ESV)
  • Proverbs 24:24 - Whoever says to the wicked, "You are in the right," will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, (ESV)
  • Isaiah 5:20 - Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (ESV)
     Of course, Love does not delight in evil.

      Here's Something To Ponder
  • How many things that are “evil” find there way into your “Good” list?
  • Are you truly saddened by what is being called good that is evil?

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