Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“So let us seize and hold fast without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He who promised is reliable and faithful to His word.”
“Faith does not show us who we are, but it shows us what a God we have. The more we get from God, the bigger beggars we are and the grander a Father He is.”
A. B. Simpson
“Faith is not working up by willpower a sort of certainty that something is coming to pass. Rather, it is seeing as an actual fact that God has said this thing shall come to pass – and that it is true – and then rejoicing to know that it is true. It is simply resting and entering into it because God has said it.”
A. B. Simpson
“Call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.”
Today’s Study Text:
“And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.”
“Earthly Power Versus Heavenly Purpose “ Part 36
“When Evil Goes Too Far”
“We cannot do evil to others without doing it to ourselves.”
Joseph Edward Desmahis
How would I define evil?
In my own life, how has evil affected me personally?
“Often in this present world, the most wicked men are the most prosperous, while the most holy are the most afflicted.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
“Christ did not stop the crucifixion; He rose from the dead.”
In the Old Testament book of Habakkuk, a short three chapters long, there is a conversation which takes place between our Almighty Heavenly Father and the prophet Habakkuk. This book begins with the type of questions you and I might well be asking today: “O God, why do You let violence go on-and-on? Why don’t You do something about the iniquity and wickedness? And furthermore, why is it that the evil men oppress the righteous?
Frankly, I believe these questions have been asked by God’s dedicated children beginning in the book of Genesis until the end of the Bible in the book of Revelation. Over the last few weeks as we’ve made our way through the experiences shared by Daniel, we’ve watched as the fires of affliction swirled around Daniel’s three friends and then we have been witness to the way evil men made up untrue tales about God’s servant Daniel. In an act of underhanded conniving, these reprobates were able to convince the ruler of Medo-Persia, King Darius, that he had a traitor in his court, a back-stabbing renegade who was not only disloyal to the king but he was also disobedient to the king’s laws.
It is hard to read a story like Daniel’s and not think of times in our own lives when we may have been treated in an evil manner by those who wanted to put us in the most outrageous position where our integrity would be called into question.
As we found out in the life of Daniel though, all the evil plotting was futile in the face of God’s protective covering which completely blocked the intent of the princes and presidents whose only goal was the death of Daniel.
And this brings me to the reason I chose to title today’s devotional: “When Evil Goes Too Far.” In the case of Daniel, had his enemies chosen a “lesser” punishment than “food for lions,” their own punishment might have been of a much lesser severity. But having called the king’s most trusted advisor a fraud and deceiver, these men were not only forced into a cage they built for themselves, but at the same time they called into question the judgment of King Darius himself. In their hurry to get rid of Daniel, they forgot that their plan could easily backfire on themselves. In his commentary on our study text, Daniel 6: 24, Matthew Henry’s insights offer us a clear glimpse into the actions of the evil against the good:
“Those that would not suffer King Darius to show mercy to Daniel shall, now that God has done it for him, be made to feel the king’s resentments. Daniel’s accusers, now that his innocency was clear, and Heaven itself has become his compurgator – his purifier – the same punishment was to be inflicted upon them…according to the law of retaliation, (especially in the case of false accusers), they were to be cast into the den of lions, perhaps a punishment newly invented by themselves; however, it was what they maliciously designed for Daniel…no law could be more just than that which adjudges the devisers of barbarity to perish by it. Now Solomon’s observation is verified – Proverbs 11: 8, ‘The uncompromisingly righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked gets into it instead.’”
Not only did evil lose in the end, but those that did evil stood as a testament to warn us today. While the enemies of Daniel not only desired to kill him by throwing him into a den of hungry lions, they also required that their individual seals be marked on the stone covering the entrance to the den. Thus, when King Darius came early in the morning to see if Daniel’s God had protected him, King Darius was reminded by the seals exactly who the false accusers were. These foolish men had indelibly left their personal mark on their evil deed.
This event reminds me of the evil men who set about to kill our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It wasn’t just enough to falsely accuse Jesus of blasphemy and treason, but when these vicious men saw where our savior was to be buried, they required the stone not only be sealed but that Roman soldiers be stationed around that tomb to guard it against any person who might want to “steal” Jesus body.
So I ask you, what happens when evil goes too far? I’m glad you asked! Because whenever evil seeks, by all means possible, to destroy what is good and pure and right – it only makes the magnificent, miraculous miracle of heavenly deliverance appear much greater. It only serves to make God’s providential leading and His purpose for His children’s lives to radiate the brightest light possible in a world of darkness. How I love the words penned by John Bode, words that convey our commitment to follow the good in a world of evil:
“O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end,
Be Thou for ever near me
My Master and my Friend.
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.”
No matter if the path leads to a den of lions or to a hill called Calvary, evil will never triumph over God’s beloved, no matter how persistent the enemy. And when evil goes too far, we can thankfully know, without a doubt, that God’s rescue will even be more dramatic, and more miraculous!
“Still to the lowly soul
He doth Himself impart,
And for His dwelling and His throne
Chooseth the pure in heart.
Lord, we Thy presence seek;
May ours this blessing be;
Give us a pure and holy heart,
A temple meet for Thee.”
“O my Creator!
consume the thorns of all my offenses,
Make clean my soul,
make holy my mind,
Nail down my being in respect
of Your name.
Ever keep watch, guard and
From every act and word that
destroys the soul.
Make me holy, make me
clean, set me in order.
Make me comely, give me
understanding, give me light.
Make me a worthy Temple of
No more a temple of sin,
But a child of light.
You alone are the shining
brightness of souls,
And to You, as God and Master,
We give all glory every day of our lives.”
Simeon, the New Theologian
“Oh, to be clean as a mountain river! Clean as the air above the clouds, or on the middle seas! As the throbbing ether that fills the gulf between star and star! Nay, as the thought of the Son of Man Himself.”
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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