Weekly Devotional 4-24-23 Why So Much Evil?
Recently, a friend and I were discussing the escalation of crime in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa. area (the area in which we live), and he asked why I thought this was happening? I suggested that many would blame their circumstances for their actions, but I proffered that in reality all crime has a more sinister source, man’s fallen nature. I went on to say evil is a result of God being cast aside, that where God is not, evil is. Our discussion ended there as other friends began to join us, but my thoughts continued.
God gave man (first to Israel and by extension to all peoples) the Ten Commandments which directed them in paths toward righteousness. Rejection of those laws was and is a rejection of God. Rejection (denial) of God removes or limits man’s fear of Him, and a diminished fear or a lack of fear opens the door to do evil. Of such persons, the apostle Paul was led to write, 19Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21a).
Granted, not all persons have committed murder; not all persons have committed adulatory; not all persons are fornicators; not all persons are sexually unclean or lewd; not all persons are drunkards; but all are guilty violating God’s Laws (The Ten Commandments) in one way or another. All persons are guilty of idolatry, of being hateful, of being contentious, of jealousies, of outbursts of wrath, of selfish ambitions, of dissensions, of heresies, of wildness. Writing about unregenerate man’s fallen nature James (the first pastor of the Jerusalem church) wrote, “14But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15).
Rejecting God opens man up to his (or her) own lusts and when one responds to those lusts there is no end to what he (or she) might do. Self-satisfaction becomes the motivating factor in one’s life; his or her heart becomes so hard that they will do unimaginable things. This is the mystery of iniquity spoken of by Paul in his second letter to the Thessalonians (2:3-7). Satan influences and encourages unregenerate man toward self-satisfaction to the end that man will commit acts of evil against his fellow man and against God his creator.
We Christians are not exempt from “many” of the things mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21a, and are warned by Paul to, “11Put on the whole armor of God, that you (we) may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Transforming Power; the Work of God on Behalf of Man