Evil. This is a topic that I’m guessing many don’t like to think about, much less write about. Yet this word evil is scattered throughout the bible—Old and New Testament. I’ve been reading through Proverbs, and the other day I ran across a verse that got my attention—Proverbs 11:27 (in the NLT). It says,
If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you!
The reason it got my attention was because I always thought of evil as being sort of a dead inconsequential force, or something that I am safe from, something that only really bad people are affected by—and I think this is the belief of a lot of people. But here in this verse evil seems almost alive. The verse says that if I look for it or desire it, it will find me! The verse doesn’t say that I will find it (evil), but that evil will come to me. So it’s almost as if evil has its own mind and will, and that it responds to what I do.
Well, to check the verse, I looked it up in the NASB—a more reliable source. But the reading wasn’t much different. It says, “But he who searches after evil, it will come to him.” No, not much better at all. It says basically the same thing. This verse makes evil sound very scary! And it has given me a whole new idea of what it is.
Evil (which begins by disobedience and rebellion against God) is nothing to mess with! If I, or if you, experiment with it and fantasize over it (in whatever form your sin weakness is) it will backfire on you. You will become trapped by it. Here are some other parallel verses (cross-references) that will help to explain the meaning of Proverbs 11:27: Esther 7:9-11 (where Haman was hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai); Psalm 7:14-16 (the trouble one causes another recoils on himself); Psalm 9:15-16 (one falls into the pit he dug to trap another); Psalm 57:6; Galatians 6:7-9.
Well, because of these thoughts on evil, and because I feel that God is warning me and possibly wants to use me to warn others, I have been busy studying this subject in more depth. I have looked at about 70 verses in the Old and New Testament and have done a little reading besides the bible. I have come up with this 7-point outline:
- Evil: Its Source, Its Nature, and Who Is Affected By It
- How Evil Spreads
- The Terrible Results Of Evil
- Those Who Sell Themselves To Evil
- Evil And Evil Spirits
- Discerning Evil
- How To Pray Against And Overcome Evil In Your Life
My next blog title on this subject will be point #1:
Evil: Its Source, Its Nature, and Who Is Affected By It