O you who love the LORD, hate evil! —Psalm 97:10

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. —Romans 12:9

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:21

            Do you love the Lord our God? Then you are commanded to “hate evil.” Not only are you to hate evil, but you are to “cling to what is good.” In Proverbs 8:13 we read “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.”   So if the Lord truly is loved by us then we will hate evil and not want any part of it.

            Is our attitude like that of Paul in Acts 17:16— “While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.” Are we bothered by the evil that is going on around us? Or, have we become so used to it that we don’t even think about it as being evil.   What did Paul do? He “reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there” (Acts 17:17). Because of this act of ministry He was “brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?  You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean” (Acts 17:19-20).

            Paul then had the opportunity to say “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you” (Acts 17:22-23).   He went on to say…

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’  “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:24-31).

            Paul hated the evil idolatrous practices, but he was not overcome by them. No instead he clung to what was good and took the opportunity to proclaim it. By doing so a greater door opened to proclaim to even more people. What was the result? Some sneered, some wanted to hear him again on the subject and some believed (Acts 17:32-34). So Paul overcame evil by doing what was good. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkxoTmKpDcU

Dear Father please help me to overcome evil by doing what is good. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   So be it.

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