Today’s Devotional – July 15, 2014- “The Sin of Envy” – Psalm 64
Today in History
1779 –American troops under General “Mad Anthony” Wayne conquered Fort Stony Point, NY.
1830 – The Sioux, Sauk and Fox Indian tribes signed the fourth Treaty of Prairie du Chien giving the US most of Minnesota, Iowa & Missouri.
Events During the Northern War of Aggression
1863 – President Jefferson Davis ordered the Confederate Army to full duty.
1864 – A troop train loaded with Confederate prisoners collided with a coal train killing 65 and injuring 109 of the 955 aboard.
1870 – Georgia became the last Confederate State to be readmitted to US.
1932 – President Herbert Hoover cut his own salary by15%.
Events During WWII
1942 – The first deportation of Jews from Camp Westerbork, Holland sent Jews to Auschwitz to be killed on arrival. A total of approximately 107,000 were shipped through this camp. Only 5200 were known to survive. The camp was originally financed by Jews as a refugee resettlement camp.
1948 – Pres Harry Truman was nominated for his second term at Philadelphia Democratic Convention.
1954 – Without the benefit of knowing about global warming a record temperature of 110°F at Balcony Falls, VA.
1959 – The union steel strike of 1959 began, leading to significant importation of foreign steel for the first time in United States history and virtually destroying the American steel industry
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
“Hear with understanding my voice in meditation O God: guard my flesh from the fear of those that hate me. Cover me from the secret planning of the insurrection and works of the wicked: who sharpen their tongues like a sword, and bend the bow to shoot arrows of bitter words: that they may shoot from hiding at the upright: they shoot suddenly at him and are not afraid. They encourage themselves with evil words: they celebrate by laying secret traps; they say, “Who will see us?” They conceal their sins; they trick themselves inwardly and their heart is deep. But God in judgment will shoot them with an arrow; they are instantly wounded. Their own tongue will fall on themselves: all that see them are driven away. And all men will stand in awe and declare the works of God; they will wisely consider His actions. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and will trust Him; and the upright in heart will celebrate.”
There are many times that believers envy the wicked. But I have on more than one occasion witnessed and experienced envy among pastors and church leaders. Is it possible that Christians can be caught up in this sin of envy? Many would reply that envy is not “so bad.” But is that really true?
Paul, in writing the Epistle to the Roman Church, described the sin of homosexuals in this way; “And in so much as they did not approve of God and did not acknowledge Him, God surrendered them to a worthless intellect to do unapproved things; crammed full of injustice, fornication, wickedness, fraud, depravity, full of envy, [jealousy] murder, contention, subtly, bad character, whisperers, slanderers, haters of God, insulters, proud, braggarts, inventors of wicked things, disobedient to parents, without intelligence, covenant breakers, hard hearted, truce breakers, lacking mercy: who being fully acquainted with the judgment of God, and knowing that they that do such things are rewarded by death, not only do these things but are gratified by them.” (Romans 1:28-32) Notice the “not so bad” sin of envy or jealousy is included in this awful death list of judgment by God. Envy or jealousy is a sin completely concealed to others by the persona of supposed righteousness.
David makes it very clear that envy of the wicked is foolishness. They can have much but be the poorest on earth. The Biblical story of the rich man and Lazarus illustrates this perfectly. [Luke 16:20-26] The Scripture warns and comforts the believer when it says, “Don’t envy the unrighteous or choose his path of life. Because those that have turned aside are disgusting to the Lord: His consolation is with the righteous. The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked: But He blesses the home of the just.” (Proverbs 3:31-33)
Pilate succumbed to the demands of the envious when he knew that was the reason for wanting Jesus to die. “But Pilate spoke to them saying, “Do you desire that I release to you the King of the Jews?” For he understood that the high priests betrayed Him because of envy. But the high priests stirred up the people so that he would release Barabbas to them.” (Mark 15:9-11)
Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers because of envy. “And the patriarchs who were motivated by envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, and delivered him from his affliction and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh King of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all of his house.” (Acts 7:9-10)
Paul and Silas were likewise persecuted because of the envy of the religious Jews. “And some of them were convinced and joined with Paul and Silas; a large number of the religious Greeks and a great number of important women. But the unbelieving Jews who were motivated by envy, gathered together some evil and vulgar men who gather a crowd and set the city in an uproar and assaulted the house of Jason and sought to bring them out to the public.” (Acts 17:4-5)
The Christian should understand that God will judge the wicked. All of their positions and achievements in this world will end at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge this world. We are therefore encouraged to live with this in mind and a source of blessing in our lives as the day grows nearer to that great judgment. “But, beloved of God, don’t be ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some men consider slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any of us would be destroyed, but that all of us should come to repentance. Moreover the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and every particle of the world will come apart and be destroyed by fire, the earth and the work of every man will be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be come apart, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy living and godliness, expecting and hurrying toward the arrival of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire will be demolished, and every particle will melt with fire? Nevertheless we expect according to his promise, new heavens and a new earth, where only the righteous will dwell.” (2 Peter 3:8-13)
Do not be fooled by the god of this world. He and those that have tried to conceal their sin are judged already. Those that believe and trust God alone are and will be blessed through all eternity.