Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 8, 2015

“Hate evil, love good, And establish justice …!”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Kings Chapter 15.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Kings+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“8 And Abijam slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son became king in his place.

9 So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam the king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king of Judah.  10 He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.  11 Asa did what was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father.  12 He also put away the male cult prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols which his fathers had made.  13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah;  and Asa cut down her horrid image and burned it at the brook Kidron.  14 But the high places were not taken away; nevertheless the heart of Asa was wholly devoted to the Lord all his days.  15 He brought into the house of the Lord the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things:  silver and gold and utensils.”  1 Kings 15:8-15.

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Although certainly not perfect, Asa was better than most kings and seems like an oasis in a listing of kings of both Israel and Judah in 1 Kings Chapter 15 who did evil.  For example, we read about Nadab, one of the kings over Israel.  “He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin which he made Israel sin.”  Verse 26.

We noticed what Asa did to do “what was right in the sight of the Lord”.  Asa removed idols and people in authority (Maacah his mother from being queen mother) who did the evil.

The following Scriptures also urge us to hate evil and gives us examples of how we hate evil and what God does for us.

“4 I do not sit with deceitful men,
Nor will I go with pretenders.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.”  Psalm 26:4-7.

We notice that we do not associate with evildoers.  Instead, we associate with Christians and go to church.  We declare God’s wonders.

“Hate evil, you who love the Lord,
Who preserves the souls of His godly ones;
He delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”  Psalm 97:10.

God preserves our souls and delivers us from the hand of the wicked.

“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.”  Proverbs 8:13.

Pride, arrogance, and the perverted mouth are, so to speak, the tip of the iceberg of evil that we see, and we rise in opposition against those things when we see them.

Hate evil, love good,
And establish justice in the gate!
Perhaps the Lord God of hosts
May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”  Amos 5:15.

Not only to we hate evil, we love good.  We see that Asa not only removed idols and people in authority who did the evil, he did good.  “He brought into the house of the Lord the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things:  silver and gold and utensils.”  Verse 15.

And, we establish justice.  Too often, we think of only God’s lovingkindness and mercy.  But, God is also a God of justice who executes punishment upon the wicked.  What would we think of an earthly judge who refused to punish anyone and let all the criminals go free?!    

In today’s Scripture, we see God’s justice in fulfilling His Word against Jeroboam.  “It came about as soon as he (Baasha) was king (of Israel), he struck down all the household of Jeroboam.  He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger.”  Verses 29-30.

In conclusion, in the words “Perhaps the Lord God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.”, there is the hope that as we do these things (hate evil, do good, and establish justice) we become more and more aware of God’s grace:  God is working within us and we are part of God’s elect.

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