WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 20, 2021
TOPIC: HUMAN WICKEDNESS
BY T. O. BANSO
“As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked’” (1 Samuel 24:13a New King James Version).
It is often believed that women are more compassionate than men. Maybe it is true; maybe it is not. It is a function of the spirit in either of them or the spirit that is controlling them. If you’re controlled by the Holy Spirit, you’re more likely to show compassion or demonstrate goodness rather than wickedness. Some of the things the Holy Spirit produces (fruit of the Spirit) in a Christian’s life are kindness and goodness (Galatians 5:22).
There are compassionate, good women and wicked women. There are equally compassionate, good men and wicked men. The spirit in each person determines how he behaves. In Luke 9, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. Unfortunately, the people turned them away. They refused to have anything to do with Jesus because He had resolved to go to Jerusalem (verse 51-53).
When James and John, two of Jesus’ disciples, heard about it, they asked Jesus for permission to order down fire from heaven to burn up the people of the village. But Jesus opposed this. He turned and rebuked them, saying, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of” (verse 55 New King James Version). Burning the people with fire would have been wickedness in the context of the ministry of Jesus.
Jesus didn’t allow His disciples to destroy these Samaritans with fire because of the Spirit in Him. Rather, He and His disciples went on to another village (verse 56). Many times, before Jesus performed a miracle, the Bible says He was moved with compassion or He had compassion (Matthew 14:14; 15:32; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 6:34; 8:2; Luke 7:13). Jesus went about doing good, not wickedness (Acts 10:38). Yet, He was a man – the Son of man.
A man can be wicked just as a woman can be. In 1 Kings 3:16-28, the Bible shows us the wickedness of a woman and the compassion of another woman. The woman, a harlot, who had slept on her child in the night and he died but claimed the living child was hers was a wicked woman.
When King Solomon pronounced his judgment that the living child should be divided into two and each of the mothers should be given half, the real mother of the living child, who also was a harlot, had compassion for her son and cried out that the living child should not be killed but be given to the other woman who had falsely claimed the child was hers. But the mother of the dead child exhibited wickedness by insisting that the living child should be divided into two and each of them should be given half (verses 23-26).
Solomon who had known the truth from the reactions of the two women, declared, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother” (verse 27 New King James Version).
One woman was compassionate, the other was wicked. Both were women! David said, “As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked’” (1 Samuel 24:13a New King James Version). He also said in 2 Samuel 3:39b that the LORD would repay the evildoer according to his wickedness. The wicked could be a man or a woman.
Genesis 6:5-8 says, “Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, ‘I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (New King James Version). The wickedness of man in this passage refers to the wickedness of the human race, not only males. Both males and females were destroyed in the flood that followed.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, don’t be wicked. Abimelech became the king of Israel after the death of Gideon. To consolidate his throne, he killed his seventy brothers, aided by the men of Shechem. Seventy brothers! (Judges 9:3-5). How could a sane person have done that? What a height of wickedness!
But God repaid him for his wickedness. The town of Thebez had revolted against Abimelech and in his battle against the town, he took the city and wanted to burn the strong tower which the people had fled to for safety. However, a certain woman dropped an upper millstone from the tower on Abimelech’s head and crushed his skull. He didn’t want it to be reported that a woman killed him and, therefore, quickly called his armorbearer to draw his sword and kill him. He did. (Verses 50-55).
If you think wickedness is restricted to men, what about a wicked grandmother in the Bible? Her name was Athaliah, the daughter of King Ahab of Israel. His mother is believed to be Jezebel. Athaliah was the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah. Like her presumed mother, Jezebel, she loved power. Her wickedness was revealed following the death of her son. “When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs” (2 Kings 11:1 New King James Version).
It sounds incredible that a grandmother would kill her grandsons just to assume power. Where was the milk of human kindness of a woman? Where was the compassion of a mother, and, indeed, a grandmother? Athaliah killed everybody she believed could ascend to the throne and began to rule.
2 Kings 11:2-3 says, “But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being murdered; and they hid him and his nurse in the bedroom, from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. So he was hidden with her in the house of the LORD for six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land” (New King James Version).
Athaliah thought she had succeeded; she didn’t know about Joash. But she was only successful for a season, which was over in the seventh year of her reign. Job 20:5a says the triumphing of the wicked is short. There was a revolt and her illegal rule was terminated. She was dethroned. She died a violent death as she was killed with the sword (2 Kings 11:13-16). Her mother had died a violent death too. At Jehu’s command, her eunuchs threw her down through the window and she died. Dogs had eaten most parts of her body when they wanted to go and bury her. This was a fulfilment of the prophecy of Elijah (2 Kings 9:31-37). Evil shall slay the wicked (Psalm 34:21a).
Don’t be a wicked man or woman. You can’t get away with your wickedness. If you escape the consequences here on earth, you can’t escape the punishment in eternity. Whatever a man sows that shall he reap (Galatians 6:7). It is appointed for men (and women) to die once but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
Here is a sad commentary on Athaliah: “So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, for they had slain Athaliah with the sword in the king’s house” (2 Kings 11:20 New King James Version). 2 Chronicles 23:21 also corroborates this statement. In other words, Athaliah’s death was good riddance to bad rubbish. The entire land rejoiced over her death! That should make anyone sober. What will be people’s reaction when you eventually die?
Balaam said in Numbers 23:10, “Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number one-fourth of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my end be like his!” (New King James Version). But Balaam’s prayer to die the death of the righteous and his end to be like him was not answered because he didn’t live the life of the righteous and so his end could not be like that of the righteous.
Although God prevented Balaam from cursing the Israelites, he later taught their enemy, Balak, to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality (Revelation 2:14; Numbers 31:16). This was wickedness. Twenty-four thousand Israelites were killed in a plague by God to punish the Israelites for their sexual immorality with the Moabite women (Numbers 25:1-9).
The Israelites later killed Balaam with the sword (Joshua 13:22). He didn’t die the death of the righteous, and his end was not like his. He died a violent death; he died prematurely. Nobody can live like the wicked and hope that his death and end will be like that of the righteous. As regards the false prophets, Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16-20 New King James Version). What are your fruits? Fruits of wickedness or goodness?
1 Kings 21:25 says about the parents of this wicked grandmother, Athaliah, “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up” (1 Kings 21:25 New King James Version). Athaliah must have inherited wickedness in the family. Like parents, like daughter!
Repent. Quit wickedness before it’s too late. “For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more” (Psalm 37:9-10 New King James Version). O God, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end but establish the just (Psalm 7:9).
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 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 wickedness of the past; forgive me and transform me by Your Spirit. Father, frustrate all the plans of the wicked. Let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end but establish the just. Bring all the wicked to repentance. Let them surrender their lives to You and yield control of their lives to the Holy Spirit.
(For over 600 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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