WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 4, 2020
TOPIC: DON’T REPAY GOOD WITH EVIL
BY T. O. BANSO
“Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son” (2 Chronicles 24:22a New King James Version).
Perhaps one of the most wicked acts I have seen under the sun is for humans to repay good with evil. Ungrateful people can initiate the wickedness themselves or they can side with others to do evil to people who have done them good in the past. Either way, it is extremely painful. 1 Peter 3:9a says not to repay evil for evil, but it is also important not to repay good with evil.
It is a terrible thing to repay good with evil. How could someone be so wicked to turn against his benefactor that he is the one giving his enemies ammunition to fight him? How could he be so ungrateful to be giving them information about him because the person who did him good brought him close to himself? This is the height of betrayal, but it happens so often among humans that some people are discouraged from helping others.
Answering the disciples’ question about who would betray Him, Jesus said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me” (Matthew 26:23 New King James Version). That talks about how close to Him His betrayer would be. He would not be a stranger but a familiar friend, as it is written in Psalm 41:9: “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (New King James Version).
Treachery! That was what Judas Iscariot perpetrated against Jesus. Here was somebody that He made a treasurer in His ministry (John 13:29). He trusted him but he betrayed the trust. He was not only stealing money from the purse (John 12:6), he decided to sell Him for thirty pieces of silver! (Matthew 26:15). Of course, you know how he ended his life. He couldn’t spend the money but he went to commit suicide. He hanged himself (Matthew 27:7). He repaid a man who had been good to Him with evil, and he died a miserable death. Don’t pay back good with evil. God hates it.
As required by Jesus Christ, some people have fed the hungry, given water to the thirsty, invited a stranger into their homes, and clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited those in prison. Yet, they were repaid with evil by the same people they showed kindness to (Matthew 25:31-46). Many people have acted as the Good Samaritan but the beneficiaries of their kindness became their enemies thereafter. This should not be so.
The prophet Jeremiah felt so ill-treated by the people of Judah when they plotted against Him just because he was giving them the word of the LORD. “Then the people said, ‘Come on, let’s find a way to stop Jeremiah. We have our own priests and wise men and prophets. We don’t need him to teach the law and give us advice and prophecies. Let’s spread rumors about him and ignore what he says’” (Jeremah18:18 New Living Translation).
Jeremiah considered this as paying back with evil the good he had done them as a prophet of the LORD. He prayed, “LORD, help me! Listen to what they are planning to do to me! Should they repay evil for good? They have set a trap to kill me, though I pleaded for them and tried to protect them from your anger. So let their children starve! Let the sword pour out their blood! Let their wives become widows without any children! Let their old men die in a plague, and let their young men be killed in battle!” (Verses 19-21 New Living Translation).
He continued, “Let screaming be heard from their homes as warriors come suddenly upon them. For they have dug a pit for me, and they have hidden traps along my path. LORD, you know all about their murderous plots against me. Don’t forgive their crimes and blot out their sins. Let them die before you. Deal with them in your anger” (verses 22-23 New Living Translation). Can you feel the weight of the negative impact of the people’s actions against Jeremiah by paying him evil for the good he had done?
I know how painful it could be to be repaid evil for the good you have done. But you must protect your heart and guide against bitterness. Learn your lessons but never seek revenge and don’t let the evil people did to you change you negatively. God will fight for you. Don’t be weary doing good (2 Thessalonians 3:13). You will reap it in due season if you don’t lose heart (Galatians 6:9).
Hebrews 10:30-31 says, “For we know the one who said, ‘I will take vengeance. I will repay those who deserve it.’ He also said, ‘The Lord will judge his own people.’ It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (New Living Translation).
God will do a far better job than you; don’t seek revenge (Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35; Matthew 5:38-41). If you’re fond of repaying good with evil, stop it before it is too late. You will reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). Remember the harvest is always more than the seed sown. The wind you sow will give you the whirlwind as harvest (Hosea 8:7).
In 2 Samuel 2, after Saul’s death, the men of Judah came to anoint David as king over the house of Judah. He was told that the men of Jabesh Gilead were the ones who buried Saul. Despite the fact Saul was after him trying to kill him until he eventually died, David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, commending their action and promising to repay their kindness to Saul.
2 Samuel 2: 5-7 says, “You are blessed of the LORD, for you have shown this kindness to your lord, to Saul, and have buried him. And now may the LORD show kindness and truth to you. I also will repay you this kindness, because you have done this thing. Now therefore, let your hands be strengthened, and be valiant; for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah has anointed me king over them” (New King James Version).
Even after Saul’s death, David continued to respect him as he had done refusing to harm the LORD’’s anointed twice when he had the opportunity of killing him. He didn’t repay his evil toward him with evil. Neither did he repay with evil the kindness of Jonathan, Saul’s son, who was his covenant friend.
After he had become king of the entire nation of Israel, he asked, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” (2 Samuel 9:1 New King James Version). He did just that, showing kindness to Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son, who was lame.
There is a sad story in the Bible that illustrates paying good with evil. And it is unfortunate that the person involved was someone the Bible had said about in the past did what was right in the sight of the LORD. “Jehoash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him” (2 Kings 12:2 New King James Version).
Jehoash (also called Joash) who started very well went astray after Jehoiada’s death. “Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. Therefore they left the house of the LORD God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the LORD; and they testified against them, but they would not listen” (2 Chronicles 24:17-19 New King James Version).
After Jehoash and Judah had failed to listen to the prophets the LORD sent to them, the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, and said that because they had forsaken the LORD, He also had forsaken them. Instead of repenting, they conspired against him, and at the command of the king, they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the LORD.
Hear what 2 Chronicles 24:22a says, “Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son” (New King James Version). Did you see that? He repaid the kindness of Jehoiada with evil by killing his son for speaking the truth to power. And as Zechariah was dying, he said, “The LORD look on it, and repay!” (verse 22b New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “May the LORD see what they are doing and hold them accountable!”
How could Jehoash be so ungrateful and wicked? How could forget the kindness of Jehoiada the priest? Indeed, the human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). If you read 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 23, you will see how Jehoiada led the revolt against Athaliah, Jehoash’s grandmother, who had usurped power for seven years after killing all her grandsons. Jehoiada the priest made Jehoash the king when he was just 7 years old and he reigned for 40 years.
If the revolt had failed, Jehoiada would have been killed. Yet, Jehoash whom he had made king and even instructed when he was alive killed his son. There are still many today like Jehoash who bite the fingers that fed them. I hope you’re not one of them. If you are, repent today and ask for God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the person you have hurt before it’s too late.
But how did Jehoash end? He was assassinated by his officials for killing Zechariah the priest, Jehoiada’s son. “For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; but the LORD delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers. So they executed judgment against Joash. And when they had withdrawn from him (for they left him severely wounded), his own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed. So he died. And they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings” (2 Chronicles 24:24-25 New King James Version).
Did you see that? His own servants conspired against him because of the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest. They didn’t like what he did. Whatever you sow, you’ll reap. Proverbs 26:27 says whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. David says in Psalm 7:15-16, “He made a pit and dug it out, and has fallen into the ditch which he made. His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown” (New King James Version).
Please take note that 2 Chronicles 24:25 says King Jehoash was not buried in the Kings’ cemetery. What a shame! Compare that story to that of Jehoiada the priest. Though he was not a king, he was given the royal honour of being buried in the kings’ cemetery after dying at the age of 130 years. “But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old when he died. And they buried him in the City of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and His house” (2 Chronicles 24:15-16 New King James Version).
Don’t repay good with evil. Don’t bite the fingers that fed you. Don’t join a conspiracy against your benefactor. Don’t put your guarantor in trouble by betraying his trust. Don’t repay good with evil in any way.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not repay good with evil in Jesus’ name. Holy Spirit, help me to always repay good with good and evil with good. Father, frustrate the plans of anyone whom I have done good to but wants to repay me with evil. Let them not be able to harm me. Let their plans not succeed. Nobody I have done good to will be able to kill me or my spouse or children in Jesus’ name.
(For more inspiring messages, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T . O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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