WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 2, 2021
TOPIC: EVIL THOUGHTS AND WICKED SCHEMES
BY T. O. BANSO
“This is what the Sovereign LORD says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme” (Ezekiel 38:10 New Living Translation).
Each time I read the story of what happened to Lot after she had escaped from Sodom because God wanted to destroy the city, I could not imagine how his two daughters planned their wicked scheme. How could any daughter entertain the evil thought of getting her father drunk and sleep with him?
Could it be that the daughters of Lot had seen so much sexual immorality in Sodom that it had entered their hearts? (Genesis 19:4-5). Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45; Matthew 12:34). Or were they already sexually perverted? But Lot had said in Genesis 19:8 before their escape from Sodom that they had not known a man. In other words, they were virgins. So what about morality? What about regard for parents? What about conscience? Lot’s case was not a case of rape which many societies are battling with today but incest at the instance of her daughters.
Imagine how disgusting it would be today if a father reports his daughters to the police after realizing that they had gotten him drunk and made him have sexual intercourse with them? It would make a headline in most newspapers more than the unfortunate common stories these days of some fathers sleeping with their daughters and in some cases even impregnating them and procuring abortion for them.
Genesis 19:30-33 says, “Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. Now the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose” (New King James Version). Did you see that?
What kind of a daughter was this first daughter? Was she already sexually perverted when they were in Sodom? Why will daughters think that because of the situation they were in, the next thing was to have children through their fathers? Did you notice the reason this first daughter gave? – To preserve the lineage of our father. That was the devil’s sermon! Every sin starts with a lie! The devil lied to her that there was no man on the earth to come in to them as it was the custom of all the earth. How did she come to that conclusion?
Did her father complain about not having grandchildren? Who told her it was too late for them to have husbands and give birth to children. If they were concerned about not having husbands, did they discuss the matter with their father since their mother had already become a pillar of salt because she looked back as they escaped from Sodom? Wouldn’t their father, as Abraham did, not have found a way of looking for husbands for them?
When Abraham was old, he didn’t want Isaac, his son, to marry any of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom he lived. He told his servant this and sent him to go to his country, and to his kindred, to take a wife for Isaac (Genesis 24:3-4). He had to travel and came back with a wife for Isaac, Rebekah. Lot could have, in a similar way, found a solution. But her daughters took the law to their hands.
Evil thoughts you do not deal with would lead to wicked schemes, which will in turn give birth to sinful actions. James 1:14-15 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (New King James Version).
Don’t think evil thoughts; don’t plan wicked schemes. See what the daughters of Lot did further. “It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, ‘Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father.’ Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose” (verses 34-35 New King James Version).
There was no difference between these two daughters. One would have expected at least the second daughter to disagree with his elder sister but she didn’t. They were birds of a feather. The first daughter saw nothing wrong with what she did. She seemed to have enjoyed it. The motive could have been more than to preserve the lineage of their father as she said earlier. The two daughters conspired against their father, got him drunk again and he slept with the second daughter also.
As a result, the two daughters of Lot had children by their father. The firstborn gave birth to a son called Moab; the father of the Moabites and the younger daughter gave birth to a son called Ben-Ammi; the father of the people of Ammon. These two nations were the enemies of the Israelites although they were related because the ancestor of the Israelites, Abraham, was Lot’s uncle (Genesis 12:5). This enmity wouldn’t have existed if there was no incestuous union that produced the two enemy nations.
Desist from evil thoughts and wicked schemes. How could Cain have gone to kill his brother? He first had the evil thought and devised the wicked scheme which he carried out. There was no way his brother, Abel, would have believed that no matter the differences, someone would kill his brother by the same parents. Why would anyone kill his younger because God accepted his brother’s sacrifice and not his? “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him” (Genesis 4:8 New King James Version). Evil thoughts and wicked schemes!
Even when God asked Cain about the whereabouts of his brother, not because God didn’t know he had murdered him, Cain was rude to God. He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9 New King James Version). That’s the kind of reply that would attract a slap from some parents today! How dare you talk to your parents like that especially after you have committed a serious crime!
Jesus says in Matthew 15:19 and Mark 7:21 that out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and other evils He mentioned. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” But the LORD says in verse 10, “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (New King James Version). The Lord who sees what is in the heart of men will deliver you from their evil thoughts and wicked schemes.
The prophet Jeremiah cried, “O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you?” (Jeremiah 4:14 New King James Version). This is God’s call to repentance to those who, like Jerusalem, have wickedness in their hearts. This is the only way to escape God’s punishment. The New Living Translation says, “O Jerusalem, cleanse your hearts that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? From Dan and the hill country of Ephraim, your destruction has been announced” (Jeremiah 4:14-15).
In Micah 2:1-5, the prophet Micah pronounced God’s judgment against wealthy oppressors who lay awake at night, thinking up evil plans and rose at dawn, hurrying to carry out any of the wicked schemes they had the power to accomplish. The wicked shall not go unpunished (Proverbs 11:21).
Repent of evil thoughts and wicked schemes. There would always be consequences for those guilty of these. If they escape the consequences here on earth, they cannot escape eternal punishment. Proverbs 12:2, says, “A good man shall obtain favor of Jehovah; but a man of wicked devices will he condemn” (American Standard Version).
See what David says in Psalm 37:12-15: “The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct. Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken” (New King James Version).
Stop thinking evil thoughts. Talking about partiality in the Christian assembly, the apostle James said that believers showed partiality among themselves and became judges with evil thoughts (James 2:4). This should not be so. Prophesying against Gog who would attack Israel with his allies, Ezekiel says, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says: At that time evil thoughts will come to your mind, and you will devise a wicked scheme” (Ezekiel 38:10 New Living Translation). Gog’s wicked scheme was to march against Israel and destroy the people. But the LORD said He would punish Gog. He would bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed (verse 22). Don’t let evil thoughts come to your mind; don’t devise wicked schemes.
David prayed in Psalm 26:9-10, “Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me along with murderers. Their hands are dirty with wicked schemes and they constantly take bribes” (New Living Translation). Comparing himself with those who engage in wicked schemes, David said, “But I am not like that; I do what is right. So in your mercy, save me. I have taken a stand, and I will publicly praise the LORD” (verses 11-12 New Living Translation). Are you like David or the sinners he spoke about?
Whereas you should be aware that some people think evil thoughts and devise evil schemes, don’t be afraid or worried about this as a child of God. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes” (New Living Translation). God is ahead of them in their evil thoughts and wicked schemes; He frustrates the devices of the crafty so that their hands cannot carry out their plans (Job 5:12).
There is still room for repentance and God’s forgiveness. The LORD said through the prophet Jeremiah to the people of Judah, “I will be merciful only if you stop your wicked thoughts and deeds and are fair to others; and if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; and if you stop your murdering; and if you stop worshiping idols as you now do to your own harm. Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever” (Jeremiah 7:5-7 New Living Translation).
If you think evil thoughts and plan wicked schemes, stop it today. Quit any relationship that encourages you to do this. Let this always guide your thoughts henceforth: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 New King James Version).
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: Father, I repent of my evil thoughts and wicked schemes. By your power, I quit from today. Forgive me my sins of the past. Father, help me to think holy thoughts and engage in good deeds henceforth. Lord, let every power controlling people to think evil thoughts, plan wicked schemes and execute them be destroyed now in Jesus’ name.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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