Psalms 97:10-12 ESV
“O you who love the Lord, hate evil!
He preserves the lives of his saints;
he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!”
If we love Jesus Christ, we will hate evil. If we don’t hate evil, then we don’t really love Jesus Christ. For to love Jesus is to prefer what he prefers. And what he prefers (chooses) is what is holy, righteous, godly, morally pure, honest, faithful, and obedient to him and to his word. So if we love Jesus, we will choose his choices and we’ll obey them according to his will. For we prefer to live through Christ, to have Christ live his life through us, and for us to actively be doing his will by his power and in his strength and wisdom.
And if we truly do hate evil, we will no longer be those who participate in evil of any kind, not in practice. And this includes not participating in being entertained by other people’s evil, too. For when we allow ourselves to be entertained by evil, we are just putting our stamp of approval on it. So, not only should we not be engaged in lying, cheating, adultery, murder, hating, stealing, bearing false witness, and any kind of immorality, including sexual immorality, but we should not be watching TV shows, videos, and movies that glorify these sins or that expose us to such in our minds and hearts.
For our Lord preserves the lives of his saints and he delivers us from the hand of the wicked. He gives us all we need to remain faithful to him, and for us to walk in holiness and in righteousness and in obedience to his commands (New Covenant), and to be able to say “No!” to sin. We just have to listen to him, and then we have to obey, in his power and strength. In our flesh we cannot do this, but by the grace of God, and in his power, we can overcome evil and we can live holy lives to the praise and glory of God.
Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. Well, the True Light is Jesus Christ, and light is truth and righteousness, and it is the gospel, and it is the revelations of Jesus Christ, and the Word of God all rolled into one. And it teaches us that we must forsake our sins to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways. For we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Romans 6:1-23; Luke 9:23-26).
And there is definitely joy for the upright in heart. For there is no true joy if we are walking in sin, and if we are disobeying our Lord, especially if we have a conscience, which not everyone does. But true joy comes through surrender of our lives to Jesus Christ, and through submission to Jesus Christ as Lord, and through forsaking our lives of sin, and through obedience to our Lord’s commands (New Covenant). For in that we have true peace with God and joy in knowing that our lives are pleasing to him.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
The Hand of the Wicked
Now I want to go backwards a minute and revisit the part about how our Lord delivers us from the hand of the wicked. Now he does allow wicked and evil people to do wicked and evil things to us. For, he talks much about how, if we are following him with our lives that we will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. So if we are following Jesus Christ with our lives, and if we are walking in his ways, and not in sin, and especially if we are sharing the truth of the gospel, we will be opposed.
And who are the wicked? They are not just those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. They are all who behave wickedly, in practice, who are walking in sin and not in obedience to our Lord, whether or not they make a profession of faith in Jesus. Some of them are even pastors and deacons and elders. For you can claim you believe in Jesus and still walk in wickedness, which then makes you still wicked and not righteous. For it is those who practice righteousness who are righteous (1 John 3:4-10; Matthew 7:21-23).
For who were the wicked who were coming against Jesus Christ? They were the rulers and people of influence in the temple of God, and the teachers of the Scriptures, and those who were supposed to be living and teaching the truth. But they hated Jesus and they wanted him dead, on many counts, one of which is he did claim to be God. And even though many of them were schooled in the prophecies regarding the Messiah, when he came they did not or would not acknowledge him for who he was.
So, in what ways, then, does our Lord deliver us from the hand of the wicked? He sometimes delivers us physically, either by removing us and sending us someplace else, or by removing them from our lives. But he doesn’t always do this or else we would not be persecuted by wicked people, which we will be. But I think the biggest way he delivers us is in delivering us from the fear of the wicked, and from their influences over our lives, and from the impact that they are trying to have on our lives, which is not for the good. So this is more of a spiritual deliverance as we learn to trust the Lord even when we are being assailed by the wicked.
So, no matter what our present circumstances are or what we are going through or what opposition we are facing because of our walks of faith and our testimonies for Jesus and for his gospel, we are to be people of God who rejoice in the Lord, and who give thanks to his holy name. For our God is fully sovereign over our lives, and nothing is going to happen to us unless God allowed it for a purpose, and he will carry us through it if we just trust him and we don’t cave to our circumstances.
[Matt 5:10-16; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Matt 28:18-20; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; John 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:22; Acts 26:18; Rom 5:3-5; Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; 2 Co 1:3-11; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Phil 3:7-11; Col 3:16; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Heb 3:13; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 2:9; 1 Pet 4:12-17]
Hear my Voice
An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27
The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.
Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.
I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.