Friday, June 04, 2010

The Evil of Wickedness

We don’t live in the best of neighborhoods. Most law enforcement officers in our county know our neighbors well, having put most of them in jail or prison from time to time. When we first moved in, we discovered dogs with heavy chains held in the woods behind our house. Drugs are not uncommon with our neighbors, and traffic comes and goes regularly. We were burglarized once, but nobody “knew” anything.

For the last three years, we’ve survived all night parties, shootings, domestic violence of various kinds. And this is perhaps the fourth generation, carrying on the patterns of their fathers (if any of the kids know who their fathers are—one lady boasted her many kids with no clue who any of their fathers are) while one dear very old lady, the matriarch of the family, picks up her Bible and goes to church every week.

My wife called me at lunch today to tell me that a car wrecked in another neighbor’s yard. If you stand on my porch, looking at the street, our friends described above are to the left. The wreck occurred in the neighbor’s house across the street and to the right.

My wife said she heard a horrible sound and went outside. Apparently, this vehicle left from the direction of our left-handed friends at a high rate of speed and crashed into the yard of my neighbor’s house, on the right. She said that people got out of the car and ran. While she stood watching, one of our left-handed neighbors yelled at her not to call for an ambulance or the police because nobody was hurt. A few minutes later, the passengers returned, and were met at the wreck by some of our left-handed neighbors. Together, they all walked back to the house, the passengers “blending in” as innocent bystanders—leaving the impression that nobody was driving.

My wife said they all stood in the yard looking over at the wreck, and giving her dirty looks while she was on the phone with 911. I would not be surprised if there were drugs in the car and our friends were more intent on preserving their stash than in anyone’s health.

How could they be so numb (drugs, notwithstanding)?

Psalm 58 shows a clear contrast between the One who Rules and Judges the earth and those who hate Him. From birth man is sinful, so hatred for truth is poisonous. Those who hate God and love sin are like deaf snakes, toothless lions, evaporating water, dull arrows, dissolving snails, or stillborn infants before Him. They are consumed by God’s wrath faster than a pile of thorns used for a cooking fire--gone before the cooking pots get hot.

David did not get up on the wrong side of the bed the day he wrote this, nor is God an ogre. God describes those who spit at Him and wish Him dead (and notice, the descriptions are pictures of decreasing feebleness), those who roar and bite at Him, those who try to wash away all that is good, those who would shoot at God, consume like a garden-snail. What is delightful about a dead baby?

Sadly, people who disregard God don’t see themselves as being all that bad. God sees a person as he or she is and will not hesitate to tell what He sees. Right now, our role is to point people to the love of God that is not content to leave a person in their sin--but first they must realize what their sin is. If they choose their sin over the love of God, then our role will be warn them of the wrath to come, and when it comes, to celebrate the righteousness of God in punishing evil. The wicked will be swept away faster than thorns in a brush fire—a cooking pot will not feel the heat because it burns so fast.

I’m very thankful that nobody was killed in that wreck; but, death comes unexpectedly. I pray the family next door remembers that just two years ago one of their own died in a car wreck much like that one—and no further than two miles up the same road. I pray they will remember the conversations we’ve had and the gospel tracts--maybe we'll have more still. I pray they will come to their senses and see how God sees the wickedness of their evil, and that all men must stand before Him on judgment day.

Oh, our son took the pictures.

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