Sometimes, when I pause to look around, It seems like people who have no regard for God enjoy immense success. They keep succeeding. They get re-elected. They get off on a technicality. They have resources to buy their way out of trouble. They skillfully use the media or other platforms to put up smoke screens or deflect from any accountability. They seem to have more fun, excitement and popularity. When we see such “success,” it is tempting to imitate. We may question why carry on the struggle of honoring God when it does not guarantee such success?
But evil has a way of defeating itself. Think about Judas who must have thought he did right in betraying Jesus but ended up in despair and suicide. Or think about King David, a man after God’s own heart. At the pinnacle of his power, he thought he was above accountability. Yet one adulterous act led him to murder, the death of his infant son and civil war led by his own son against him. Though he came back to God in the end, he suffered terribly for believing that his success elevated him above consequences for rebellious behavior.
In Psalm 64, this same David struggles because of conspirators and evil doers who work against him. “They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. (Psalm 64:3). But everything turns in verse 7. “But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down.” Does this mean that God is going to shoot arrows from heaven to strike down David’s enemies? No. He will use their own evil acts against them. Verse 8 – “He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin.”
That’s the problem with lying, accusing, gossiping and cruel words. They whiplash back to the source. The person who speaks in such ways always has to cover their tracks or come up with a new lie to protect the old one.
My devotional says this:
“David’s comfort again is the self-defeating nature of evil and the fact that in God’s world there are natural consequences to sin. We become trapped in our own lies. Our slander recoils on us. Even in this life the greedy will at least be spiritually poor, while the generous will have a rich life whether they are wealthy or not.” (Tim Keller – Songs of Jesus – May 18, 138).
There is tremendous freedom and joy when we don’t have to worry about that lie catching up with us; when we don’t’ have to avoid people’s stares because we slandered them or we don’t have to keep running lest our past catch up with us. So in whatever ways you’re seeking to honor the Lord, keep at it. It is worth so much more than a life of cover up and running.
“Lord Jesus, help us to persevere in walking with you even when others seem to succeed apart from you. Help us to remember the attraction of your perfect integrity even though the world of that time said you were an insignificant failure. Now you reign over the entire universe. Help me live in light of that reality today.”