75-Fear of the Lord is to Hate Evil
Proverbs 8:13 (NKJV)
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
Have you considered what it actually means to “hate evil, pride, arrogance, the evil way and the perverse mouth”? What it does NOT mean is to hate those who do such things. We are commanded by Jesus to love our enemies and to do good to them.
To “HATE” evil and the perverse way, is to recognize it for what it is and what it does to such an extent that you would take every precaution to avoid even the appearance of evil. Evil is defined as that which is contrary to God who is absolute and perfect love.
Someone walking the “fear of The Lord” is evidenced in the manner in which they withdraw themselves from all those things that can have any association with all that is not FROM God. For everything in this world that does not come FROM God is that which comes from he that opposes God, the devil. There is no middle ground. If we do not choose God, then the only other choice is to choose the devil. Just as in nature, there is light and the absence of light. There is truth and the absence of truth. In truth, God exists and in the absence of truth exists the evil one and all his works, evil, pride, arrogance, the evil way and the perverse mouth.
The perverse mouth is defined as that which does not speak the truth that comes from God. Jesus even teaches that those who do not gather WITH Him, scatters abroad. If we are not found in the Light where there is truth, then we will be found in the darkness which is the absence of light.
To what extent do those who truly fear The Lord separate themselves from all that is evil? First, it is important to recognize what God considers evil and the evil way. Since the Old Testament, God has required all those who would follow Him to be Holy as He Himself is Holy. Since God is perfect love, what can be considered Holy is what God identifies as Holy. Fear and evil cannot reside where perfect love is. God required His people since the earliest times to be clean in order to enter the place of His presence. All those who fail to do this suffered immediate retribution in the loss of their lives. God even says, “Those who approach Me must consider Me holy.” (Leviticus 10:3) Those who do not, will die.
If someone says they love us but do not care enough to learn what would be pleasing to us, do not love us at all but love themselves more. If I say I love someone, I will make every effort to learn what it is that pleases them and will make every effort to present myself to them in the way that pleases them most in order gain their favor. If we, being evil by nature, are thus predisposed to make this kind of effort to gain the affections of another, how much more should we do to learn of what pleases God before we approach Him?
In a natural relationship, we will deem it acceptable to rid ourselves of all those things that would hinder our relationship with the one we love so as not to be an offense to them. If we truly seek their favor towards us, change in us is required and we do so gladly in order to gain full access into the heart of the one we love and wish to dwell with.
The fear of The Lord is the same. We learn what it is that displeases The Lord and make every effort to rid ourselves of all those things in our lives that will be offensive to Him in order that we may gain full access to His Heart and find favor with our Lord. This means that everything that would be offensive to God should be considered by us to be evil and the evil way. Although this may be our desire, we need help in order to accomplish this as we do not have that strength and ability in ourselves to accomplish this.
This is where God’s power (grace) is needed and which He promises to give to us in abundance. He Himself works in our lives to give us both the right desires and His ability to accomplish those desires. So everything that stands in the way of attaining favor with Him we see as necessary to rid ourselves of. It is this attitude of hating of sin, hating of evil, hating of pride and arrogance, hating of the evil way and hating of the perverse tongue that we see we must adopt because we come to see that compromise in any of these things will be displeasing to the One who loves us best and we seek to love in return.
What are precisely those things that must be purged from our lives? The bible speaks of all these things as anything that distracts us from complete obedience to Him and His commandments. If we allow anything to take away from our relationship with Him, then this must be considered a distraction. The only way to determine what those things are is to go before The Lord and learn from Him whether what we engage ourselves in is pleasing to Him.
When was the last time you went to see a movie and asked The Lord FIRST to see if this movie was okay by Him? When was the last time you made plans AFTER asking Him if it was okay by Him to make such plans? How often have you done this instead, made your plans, saw your movies, did what you chose to do and expected that He was okay with it?
King David set for us all a great example in that before He even defended Israel from other nations, He sought The Lord whether HE wanted David to go up against them. David left nothing to chance and presumed nothing before The Lord. He proved that his heart longed for The Lord and loved The Lord. Can we say the same? Shouldn’t we do the same?
Do we not go before The Lord and submit to Him our plans because we are afraid He may not agree and so we plan our plans and then seek His approval, not waiting to see if He disagrees but we go through with our plans, presuming He will agree with us strictly on the basis we are sincere in our hearts? Sincerity of heart is not the basis of pleasing God. Without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. Since faith comes from God speaking directly to each of us, then whatever He directs us and we obey, demonstrates our faith. PRESUMPTION IS NOT FAITH! Presumption is SIN and displeases The Lord.
We have only to look at those who went BEFORE Jesus on that road from Jericho to Jerusalem when the blind man cried out for mercy from the Jesus. Those who went before tried to shut this man up while Jesus Himself called to bring this man to Himself. This action of Jesus to have those very ones who tried to quiet this desperate man, bring this man to Jesus, was a form of rebuke to those who would make presumptions upon Jesus. There are many such examples throughout the scriptures where men have presumed on The Lord to their own sorrow.
In light of this, should we not FIRST seek The Lord as to what pleases Him BEFORE we even make plans? In this way, evil is removed BEFORE it can have its way in us. So let us not make presumptions but make sure of all those things that will please Him. Let us not go about pleasing ourselves first and consider Him later. In doing this, we show that we despise Him because we give ourselves preference BEFORE The Lord. Let us then, as good stewards of all that He has given us, seek His guidance in all things and be ready to lay aside all those things that we desire in order to fulfill His desires first. In this way, we demonstrate that we are truly walking in the fear of The Lord and hating all evil and the evil way and have put away pride, arrogance and the perverse tongue.