WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 2, 2020
TOPIC: LET THE WICKEDNESS OF THE WICKED COME TO AN END
BY T. O. BANSO
“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (Psalm 45:7 New King James Version).
One of the stories in the Bible that show how wicked human beings could be is the parable of the wicked vinedressers told by Jesus Christ and recorded in Mark 12:1-9, Matthew 21:33-46, and Luke 20:9-19.
In the account in the book of Mark, the owner of a vineyard leased it to vinedressers and went to a far country. At different times, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, so that he might receive some of the fruits of the vineyard from them.
However, the wicked vinedressers beat the first servant and sent him away empty-handed. They threw stones at another servant, wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully treated. They also killed the next servant, beat many others, and killed some.
When the owner of the vineyard finally sent his heir, thinking that they would respect him, they killed him and cast him out of the vineyard. They did that because they wanted the inheritance to become theirs. This was wickedness.
Jesus asked, “Therefore what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the vinedressers, and give the vineyard to others” (Mark 12:9 New King James Version).
Verse 12 offers an explanation of this parable: “The religious leaders wanted to arrest Jesus because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away” (New Living Translation).
But didn’t they prove Jesus Christ right eventually when they conspired to crucify Him? They are not really my focus. My focus is on the wickedness of human beings. Some people today behave like these wicked vinedressers. You do them good and they repay you with evil. How could some people beat and kill the servants of someone who leased his property to them? As if that was not enough, they killed his heir so that the property could become theirs. Wickedness!
Jeremiah lamented, “Should they repay evil for good? They have dug a pit to kill me, though I pleaded for them and tried to protect them from your anger” (Jeremiah 18:20 NLT). It is sad that human beings don’t always repay good with good. Many people have been victims of this.
If people have repaid evil for the good you did, never mind. Extract lessons from it but don’t retaliate. The God of justice will fight for you. You will laugh last.
1 Peter 3:9 says, “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing” (New Living Translation).
I don’t think I need to emphasize that we live in a wicked world! Nobody should be ignorant of that. Some people are naive. They think that because they don’t wish anyone evil, therefore, everybody is like that. But there are wicked people that your success alone makes mad!
Some people are uncomfortable that you, your children, or your family enjoy what you have. They feel it should be they, their children, or their family. What a pity!
The LORD said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 New King James Version). The Lord is the One who searches the heart and tests the mind to give every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doings (verse 10).
Don’t be a wicked person. Let there be no wickedness in your heart. In a prophecy about Jesus Christ, Psalm 45:7 says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions” (New King James Version). The writer of Hebrews quoted this scripture to support the deity of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:8-9). You also should hate wickedness as Jesus did and you will enjoy the blessings of doing so.
What is wickedness? The KJV Dictionary defines wickedness as “Departure from the rules of the divine law; evil disposition or practices; immorality; crime; sin; sinfulness; corrupt manners.” It adds that wickedness generally signifies evil practices. Thus, wickedness as used in the Bible goes beyond the common usage.
Having seen the broad meaning of wickedness, you should hate wickedness. Don’t entertain it in your heart. Avoid it. Don’t engage in it. No wickedness against you will succeed in Jesus’ name. But you must not be ignorant of it.
In Matthew 22, the Pharisees plotted how they might entangle Jesus in His talk. They sent their disciples and the Herodians to Him to ask if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not (verses 15-17).
Hear what the Bible says about Jesus’ reaction: “But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money’” (verse 18-19 New King James Version).
Did you see that? Jesus perceived their wickedness. He knew it was a plot by those who sent them to trap him to say something for which they could accuse Him. Their emissaries came praising Jesus before they asked their question. But Jesus didn’t fall into their trap. You won’t fall into the trap of the wicked ones in Jesus’ name.
Please take note of the following about wickedness:
1. There is wickedness on the earth. Solomon said, “Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, wickedness was there; and in the place of righteousness, iniquity was there” (Ecclesiastes 3:16 New King James Version).
2. Wickedness proceeds from the heart. In Mark 7:21-22, Jesus listed the sins that proceed from the heart. Wickedness is included. Nobody engages in wickedness if it does not first exist in his heart.
3. God is not pleased with the wicked. He takes no pleasure in the wicked. Therefore, He desires to deliver people from the hand of the wicked (Jeremiah 15:21). Psalm 125:3 says the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous reach out their hands to iniquity.
4. Enduring success cannot be achieved through wickedness. Stability or establishment cannot be achieved through wickedness. Proverbs 12:3 says, “A man is not established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous cannot be moved” (New King James Version).
5. It shall not be well with the wicked. Isaiah 48:22 says there is no peace for the wicked. In addition, Isaiah 3:11 says, “Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given him” (New King James Version).
6. The wicked shall not go unpunished. “God says, ‘At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked ’” (Psalm 75:2 New Living Translation). Also, Proverbs 11:21 talks about punishment for the wicked. “Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered” (New King James Version).
Evil shall slay the wicked. They shall be consumed by wickedness, including their own wickedness. Psalm 34:21 says, “Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned” (New King James Version). Psalms 34:21; 94:23; and Proverbs 11:5 also talk about punishment for the wicked.
The wicked may escape punishment on earth but cannot escape eternal punishment. The LORD says in Psalm 101:8, “Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, that I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD” (New King James Version).
Don’t practise wickedness. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Galatians 6:7). Also, don’t seek revenge for any act of wickedness against you. God forbids vengeance (Leviticus 19:18). He says vengeance is His, and recompense (Deuteronomy 32:35).
Father, “Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish the just” (Psalm 7:9 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 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, I shall not accommodate wickedness in my heart. I shall not do any wickedness. No wickedness against me shall succeed in Jesus’ name. Father, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end.
(For over 300 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.
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