Tuesday, 29 April 2014

"... FULLY SET TO DO EVIL" Bible Reading Thoughts for April 29th

Deuteronomy 16:1
"...the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night"

This reminds us that when Israel were brought out unto salvation and judgement came, the rest of Egypt was sleeping. We have been called out from a world which is asleep to the ways of God, and the signs of Gods impending judgement. We are exhorted not to drift off into spiritual sleep, but to be always awake and watching:

"Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh...Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch" (Mar 13:35-37)

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thess 5:4-11)

“… FULLY SET TO DO EVIL”

That is not an inviting heading for our thoughts, is it!  Solomon observes in today’s chapter in Ecclesiastes that “the heart … of man is fully set to do evil …” because the “sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily” [8 v.11]  It made us think of the protracted system of so called justice today in this country.  As  each year passes the hearts of humans are more and more focussed on  self-centred ways of living with any thought of there being a God vanishing out of their minds.  How true it now is that “man’s trouble lies heavy upon him” [v.6] – and it’s going to get heavier.
            Written near the end of his life, Solomon appears to be in a depressed, but totally honest, state of mind.  Despite all his wise sayings and wisdom in ruling, the nation is not in a good state – and disaster will soon follow after his death.  How does this compare with today – as genuine study and belief in the Bible is nearly dead?
There are some comparisons of thought with the history lesson Stephen gave the religious leaders in Jerusalem after they arrested him.  We read this today in Acts ch. 7and saw how they totally missed his point – and stoned him to death.  His lesson was about the actions of God in interfering at different times in past events in Israel – so as to bring about his purpose.  The hearts of his hearers had been “fully set to do evil” – and so they crucified their Messiah – and now they stone Stephen to death.
Now consider how God always acts to bring good out of human evil!  Think of the events that followed. Even more, we need to think of our own troubled times, evil, godless times.  We are on the threshold of God’s ultimate dramatic act – to deal with evil – and shock a world that is more “fully set to do evil” than ever before. How blind our world has become – few consider the possibility that there is a God, especially a God who sees all and knows all.
We have no Apostles to challenge us – only Bibles – but most of these are simply gathering dust!  Does yours?   There is no point in reading them – unless they provoke us to action to set our feet on the narrow way – for, said Jesus, “the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction …” [Matt. 6 v.13] – and the time of destruction appears to be fearfully close.