WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 02, 2023
TOPIC: GET RID OF MALICE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (1 Peter 2:1 New International Version).
One of the sins the Bible talks about in the Old and the New Testaments is malice. It was a serious sin in the Old Testament that individuals and nations were punished for it. It is still a sin today and God wants His children to get rid of it in their lives.
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary defines malice as “the desire to harm someone or the feeling of pleasure at someone’s misfortune.” Similarly, Biblical Cyclopedia says, “Malice is a settled or deliberate determination to revenge or do hurt to another.”
From this definition, you could see that malice is a deliberate sin, which emanates from a desire or determination to harm someone either to seek revenge or hurt another. It could also be a feeling of pleasure at another person’s misfortune. Clearly, this is not the Spirit of Christ. Those who are unforgiving are most likely to fall into this sin.
One of the sins that the ungodly and unrighteous people are filled with is malice as the Bible says in Romans 1:28-29. Jesus said malice, along with other sins, comes from within the heart and makes one unclean (Mark 7:20-23). In other words, someone who is guilty of malice first harbours it in his heart. It is a deliberate determination to harm someone.
That is why in the Old Testament, a difference is made between someone who killed another person out of malice and someone who killed another person unintentionally without malice. Anyone who killed another out of malice was liable to death too. The avenger of blood must put the murderer to death when he met him (Numbers 35:16-21). But someone who unintentionally killed his neighbour without malice was to flee into one of the cities of refuge and save his life. He was not to be killed (Numbers 35:6, 10-12; Deuteronomy 4:41-43; 19:4-7; Joshua 20:1-6).
Don’t harbour malice in your heart and don’t let your actions be motivated by malice. It is possible for people to harbour malice in their hearts and be pretending. Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? Do you harbour malice in your heart? Repent. Psalm 28:3 says, “Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts” (New International Version).
Did you see their hypocrisy? They speak cordially but harbour malice in their hearts. Don’t be such a person. Repent before your sin is exposed. “A malicious man disguises himself with his lips, but in his heart he harbors deceit. Though his speech is charming, do not believe him, for seven abominations fill his heart. His malice may be concealed by deception, but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly” (Proverbs 26:24-26 New International Version). Malice is wickedness.
The Bible says a good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Don’t harbour malice in your heart. The malice in your heart may soon become words that you speak. The Apostle John said in 3 John 10 that Diotrephes gossiped maliciously about him. In Psalm 41:5, David said, “My enemies say of me in malice, ‘When will he die and his name perish?’” (New International Version). Also, Psalm 73:8 says the wicked scoff and speak with malice and in their arrogance, they threaten oppression.
God hates malice just as He hates other sins. God doesn’t overlook it. The Prophet Ezekiel prophesied against the Ammon, “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 25:6-7 New International Version).
Take note of the phrase “rejoicing with all the malice of your heart.” In other words, the Ammonites, who were relations of the Israelites (the descendants of Ben-Ammi, a son of Lot) rejoiced with malice at their misfortune – the desecration of the Temple and the destruction of Jerusalem. Remember that malice is also defined as “the feeling of pleasure at someone’s misfortune.” God promised to punish the Ammonites and they were eventually destroyed.
Also, Ezekiel prophesied in Ezekiel 25:15-17 that because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, God would stretch out His hand against them and cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. He would carry out great vengeance on them and, in His wrath, punish them. God did just that.
Similarly, God noted that in His burning zeal, He had spoken against the rest of the nations, and against all Edom, because with glee and with malice in their hearts they made His land, the land of Israel, their possession to plunder its pastureland (Ezekiel 36:5). Edom was specifically mentioned because the Edomites were the descendants of Esau, the brother of Jacob, whose descendants were the Israelites. As relations, they should not have plundered Israel in their malice even if others did.
But the Edomites had long-standing animosity against the Israelites because of the hatred of Esau for Jacob for deceiving their father to receive the blessing meant for him. God said to Edom, “As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all of Edom-all of it! Then they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 35:15 New King James Version).
God says not to seek revenge. He says in Deuteronomy 32:35a that it is His to avenge and He will repay. Therefore, as Proverbs 20:22 says, you should not say you will recompense evil but wait for the Lord, and He will save you. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18 New International Version).
If you are not going to fall into the sin of malice, you must not seek revenge but forgive. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody” (Romans 12:17 New King James Version). Repent today and get rid of malice from your heart.
The Apostle Peter said, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (1 Peter 2:1 New International Version). He wrote this to Christians, not non-Christians. He continued in verses 2-3: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (New International Version).
Malice should be part of your old life, not your new life in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul said, “You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips” (Colossians 3:7-8 New International Version). Did you see malice mentioned there? Paul also said in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth” (New International Version). You are a new creation in Christ and you should have nothing to do with malice.
Get rid of malice. Ephesians 4:31 also says to get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Get rid of every form of malice. Don’t have the feeling of pleasure at someone’s misfortune. Don’t have any intention to or deliberately harm anyone or anyone’s reputation, do mischief, or seek revenge. Forgive everyone who hurts you (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-22, 35; Mark 11:25-26; Luke 6:37b; 11:4; 17:3-4).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that 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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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, forgive me for the malice I harbour in my heart and my malicious words and actions against others. Holy Spirit, help me to forgive others as God has commanded and not seek revenge. Malice shall no longer have any place in my heart or proceed from my heart in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947