WHO CAN INFLICT EVIL?
They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law. Psalm 119:150
Those who perpetrate evil on others are far from God’s instruction. They have either never gotten close to Jesus, or they have chosen to back up from Him in order to carry out their plans. Someone with their head on Jesus’ breast is not likely to reach out their hand to strike another with a dagger.
Persecutors inflict pain and enjoy the sport. They are not acting independently either but are mimicking the stuff of the devil. George Whitefield said, “The riches of his free grace cause me daily to triumph over all the temptations of the wicked one, who is very vigilant, and seeks all occasions to disturb me.” Satan looks for every opportunity to afflict us and influences the children of men to do the same. Truth be told, his demonic hosts goad humanity to act like them. They tap into our need for revenge, entitlement, greed, and power.
Can a Christian be a persecutor? Anyone who has spent time in the church will say yes, unfortunately. One who knows their Bible is different from one who lives beneath the shelter of God’s wing. A carnal man can study the doctrine of election for eight hours, then go home and be mean to his family. His mind was engaged with bible study but his heart was disconnected from the Word, Himself.
My insurance policy against becoming a person who enjoys doing harm to others is to live at Jesus’ feet, to pray without ceasing, to meditate and focus my heart on scripture. If God’s words live in my heart, I will not find it easy to sin. To take revenge on someone close to me, to mouth off and insult someone I love, to enjoy seeing someone fail, to set a trap for an enemy, to make another pay for my own unhappiness, for all these I’ll have to turn away from the tender gaze of my Savior.
I choose to live today close to Your instruction, to know the voice of Your Spirit whispering in my ear. Amen