Provwebs 24:19-20 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of the wicked,
for the evil man has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.
This isn’t talking about not resisting those who do evil, it’s about not getting emotionally worked up over them, and certainly not envying their apparent success. Many young people are tricked into admiring and envying “bad boy” or “bad girl” celebrities, when such people are actually rather to be pitied. We aren’t good at seeing future results, and are all about instant gratification. The Bible warns about that from Genesis through Revelation. When we see people doing evil, or allowing evil through inaction, we are first to look to God and ask Him what our part is to be. We can be very confident that it isn’t to take part in their evil! Sometimes, our part might be very active, even violent, as when Jesus drove the merchants from the temple. More often, it will be active but not violent, taking firm steps to block the evil. Always, it will involve prayer, that those involved in the evil would repent and those affected by the evil would be delivered. We see examples of this constantly all around us, which is all the more reason to seek God as to the level of our involvement in the issue. It is very easy to be activist to the point of total exhaustion! In our current information society, there is literally no end to the causes that plead for our participation. We’ve got to remember that God is still God, and allow Him to direct us to be involved in this cause but not that one, not falling into the trap of thinking we’ve got to do it all.
I would hardly have called myself an activist before the past few years, at any rate, but now I’m pretty consistent in such things as online petitions. However, the Lord has had to deal with me in the matter of trusting Him to be God. It has been very gratifying to see how the mess that is the current US government is becoming increasingly obvious to more and more people, so that more and more people are standing up to resist the evil. Not long ago it wasn’t clear that the people would stand up, but there is less question now. At the same time, the evil on the surface rests on the evil in individual lives, and the degree of moral degradation is indeed distressing. I’ve got to watch myself that I don’t participate in the filth, and I’ve got to pray for a spirit of repentance and holiness to come upon God’s people, first of all, so that it may then affect the larger society. Too many Christians envy evildoers! However bad the situation gets, I’ve got to remember that God is still God. As God had to remind Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short?” (Numbers 11:23) In the end, we win!
Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the encouraging news I’ve heard recently, as well as all You are doing right here. Help me trust You in active obedience, even when I don’t see the results I desire in the short term. May I be firm against the evil that people do, while expressing Your love to them as individuals, so that as many as will may repent, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!