Learning from the Past

“Through the process of repeated exposure, what is at first hated, becomes tolerated, then accepted, and finally embraced” (Anonymous). It’s interesting, when you study history, to see how we make the same mistakes as previous generations over and over again. Our actions today prove we really don’t learn over the centuries…that evil brings us down, and goodness lifts us up. The prophet Amos witnessed the decline of Israel, and God spoke through him in warnings to the nation. The leaders, priests, and people cast off the restraints of the sinful nature and did whatever they pleased. Amos tried to convince the people they could change, even in the midst of evil times. He preached, “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph” (Amos 5:14-15). The people paid no attention…and went into captivity. Make no mistake…where evil is unleashed and embraced, the consequences are always deadly and destructive. Loving and obeying God are not just “good ideas,” but they are absolutely essential for peace and blessing on a nation. The call is clear, “Hate evil, love good.” To hate evil means to adopt the same attitude toward evil as God does. Hating evil doesn’t mean we hate people who do evil. It means we have a settled faith that God is the ultimate one who defines right and wrong, and we agree with Him. If others are upset by our beliefs, so what? The most important witness we can demonstrate to this world is proving we are God’s children by loving the Lord and loving to do good. It’s hard for people to condemn us if our “track record” is serving and helping others. Let’s make up our minds to find our joy, not in evil, but in the Lord and in doing his will. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Pastor Mark Boucher