PROCLAIMING TRUTH: How to live in evil times
A new king took the throne in Egypt and looked upon the people of Israel with contempt.
They had lived under the Egyptians in peace for generations, but things dramatically changed with the new Pharaoh. They were turned into slaves, oppressed and treated ruthlessly for decades.
At one point Pharaoh ordered all sons born to Israelite women to be thrown into the river to die.
Day after day the cries of the people of Israel ascended before God, praying against the wicked acts of Pharaoh and for their deliverance.
The story of the Israelites is the story of many nations today. A sinful leader takes his seat of power and with it firmly in his hand, he wields it with a vengeance against his enemies. His foolish exercise of power ultimately not only brings ruin upon his powerless opponents, but tragically ends up destabilizing his nation.
It is this type of situation the Psalmist had in mind when he penned a prayer to the Lord God, “Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute? They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.” (Psalm 94:21-22).
This is what life is like under an immoral government.
Laws are passed, which run contrary to God’s Word. Disobedience toward God is legalized and encouraged. Immoral and corrupt behavior becomes rampant in government and across the nation. The sick, poor, widows, orphans and already marginalized communities become victims of sinful leadership.
And who is the enemy to this kind of corrupt government?
Those who seek to do what is right, wise and good no matter the cost.
Officials band together to silence these righteous voices. Why? Because they shine the light on their corrupt deeds. Their words of truth and the gospel they preach, exposes the darkness. Therefore, they are condemned. There is no justice for them in the courts of men, and they are harassed at every turn by the powers over them.
How shall the righteous remnant live in such a time?
The writer of the Psalm goes on, “But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge.” (Ps. 94:22).
A stronghold is where one goes for protection. A rock of refuge is a place of safety. These images communicate who God is to those who trust in Him. In a time when depraved men rule, godly people go to the Lord God and His Son, as their rescuer.
It does not mean He will remove all forms of pain, suffering and injustice. Actually, in evil times, it will increase. But what does God promise His children? His presence. He will be with us. And He also promises to supply our needs and deliver us from the tempter’s snares.
Moreover, God promises to deal with our adversaries, “He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness...” (Ps. 94:23).
The vengeance of God through Jesus will come on those who rebel against Him and attack His chosen ones. At first, He is patient with His enemies, providing them a chance to trust Him, but if they refuse, judgment will come.
Such was the case with Pharaoh.
Eventually, God sent Moses to rescue Israel. Through him, God warned evil Pharaoh many times, but he rejected God’s mercy. Therefore, with a strong arm, God led His people out of Egypt through the greatest exodus in history.
Pharaoh pursued, but his army was wiped out. God destroyed the hard-hearted enemy of His people.
In these evil days, where sinful leaders occupy seats of power, let us persist in doing good, being voices of truth and sharing heaven’s good news. Our trust and hope is in Jesus, who has risen from the dead. For He has conquered the evil which rulers pedal onto their citizens, and is more powerful than any demonic forces leading them.
A prayer for you – “Father in heaven, lift our eyes off the evil rulers of our day. For they are mere mortal men. Fix our eyes heavenward. Let our hope be in you, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In Jesus name. Amen.”