The Worst of the WorstJuly 1, 2023 2023-07-01 8:03
The Worst of the Worst
The Worst of the Worst
10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (NIV)
Just this past week, America cheered as Sam Smith and Kim Petras glorify Satan in their performance of “Unholy.” We are clearly seeing a transition in a society where evil is no longer presented in a subtle way. Instead, it is celebrated openly. Our passage today reminds us that as the people of God, we need to hate evil, but what does this mean?
I often hear Christians asking how we got to this point and I believe a good understanding of our passage today will help us understand. The word ‘evil’ has been defined as the worst of the worst in the Christian community. The church has a tendency to demonize some sins worse than others. Extramarital affairs are a big one but gluttony is rarely touched upon in church sermons. The word ‘evil’ here however has a meaning that encompasses so much more than the worst of the worst.
The original root word means ‘to spoil.’ Let’s consider this analogy. How does food spoil? It is a slow process. I think of a banana. Once a banana is spoiled, it is easy to see. It resembles black mucus and no one wants to touch it. But it is a slow process.
If we were to take this principle in our Christian walk, we don’t get alarmed until the sin in question is shocking. But evil encompasses the smallest movement that contributes to that final stage of shock. Those who love the Lord need to hate anything that moves the slightest way toward the spoiling of our faith, our peace, our love, or our joy. When we only hate the final thing in its most spoiled state, we have allowed evil to progress under our noses. The result of this is what was displayed at the Grammys. What used to be shocking to our culture, even to unbelievers is now completely acceptable and cheered.
To hate what is evil means to avoid, not contribute to it. We first must accept this standard so that evil is anything that contributes to what will eventually be shockingly evil. Then we must hold to this standard and when we fail, we repent and renew the standard in our life. Then we will see the Lord guard and deliver us from evil.
Prayer: Lord, let me not be ok with those things that contribute to the worst of the worst. And where I struggle, help me with your grace. Amen.