Copyright 1994 - 2017 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
July 7, 1998
Last Updated :
October 8, 2013
Jesus' Final Moments On The Cross, Jesus Bore Our Sins, God Beholds Both Evil And Good, God's All-Seeing Nature, Evil In The Sight Of The Lord, Rebellious Backslidden Israel And Her Wicked Kings, Even The Good Kings Made Serious Errors, False Gods Of The Nations, Delusion Of The Wicked, Our Sins Aren't Hidden From The Lord, Held Accountable And Judged According To Our Works, Depart From Evil, Walk In The Light Of Christ
Some time ago, one of my readers asked me if God is able to look upon evil. Based on Jesus' well-known utterances which He made during His final moments of agony on the Cross, that we find in both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, this person arrived at the conclusion that in the darkest hour that the world has ever known, when Jesus bore the weight of the sins of the world upon Himself alone, God the Father withdrew Himself. According to this individual, this was signified by an actual physical darkening of the sky. He stated that God was simply unable to bear looking upon the evil which had befallen His Son. Consider the following set of verses which discuss how Jesus became the propitiation for our sins:
"Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Matthew 27:45-46, KJV
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly . . . But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6, 8, KJV
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"
1 Corinthians 15:3, KJV
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."
2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV
"Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:"
Galatians 1:3-4, KJV
"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
1 Timothy 1:15, KJV
"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;"
Hebrews 1:3, KJV
"So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Hebrews 9:28, KJV
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
1 Peter 2:24, KJV
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:7, KJV
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
1 John 2:1-2, KJV
"And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."
1 John 3:5, KJV
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
1 John 4:10, KJV
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
Revelation 1:5, KJV
As I began to ponder this person's comments, the very first verse that came to my mind is the following one which is found in the Book of Proverbs:
"The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good."
Proverbs 15:3, KJV
This verse clearly demonstrates that the Lord truly does see all of the works of man upon the face of the Earth, whether they are good, or whether they are evil. During the height of his sufferings, after he had lost most of his family, his wealth and his possessions, and as he sat in ashes scraping off the boils which covered his body from head to toe, the Patriarch Job uttered a similar statement when he said the following:
"For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings."
Job 34:21, KJV
I will be discussing the story of Job in more detail later on in this same series. As I began to further explore the wonderful Word of God, I discovered quite a few interesting verses which deal with the issues of good and evil, how God turns His face away from evil, Divine Chastisements as well as Divine Blessings, etc. While I can't possibly quote every single verse which I discovered due to their sheer volume, the ones which I have chosen to share in this series provide us with a well-rounded perspective regarding these different topics. In addition to the previous verses which demonstrate God's all-seeing nature, there are quite a few verses which we find throughout the Old Testament which contain the phrase "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord", or else similar phraseology. Consider these following examples:
"And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the way of his father, and in his sin wherewith he made Israel to sin."
1 Kings 15:26, KJV
"And he wrought evil in the sight of the LORD; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made."
2 Kings 3:2, KJV
"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his fathers had done."
2 Kings 23:32, KJV
"And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger . . . But he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father: for Amon sacrificed unto all the carved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them;"
2 Chronicles 33:6, 22, KJV
"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD."
2 Chronicles 36:12, KJV
In fact, it may surprise you to know that the phrase "evil in the sight of the LORD" is found a total of forty-four times in the Old Testament of the King James Version of the Bible.
As I point out in articles such as "The Children of God and Politics", "The Fruits of Disobedience", "Is God a Racist?", and a number of others, the Old Testament is one continuous story of the rebellious, spiritually-backslidden condition of ancient Israel under her wicked kings. While it is true that certain kings -- such as David, Solomon, Asa, Hezekiah and Josiah -- pleased the Lord to different degrees, they appear to have been the exception to the rule. In fact, even most of those kings committed some rather gross errors during their lifetimes. For example, King David engaged in adultery and committed murder when he schemed against Uriah the Hittite, who was the husband of Bathsheba. David's own son, Solomon, became an apostate in his old age, and seriously engaged in idolatry with his non-Jewish wives.
The truth of the matter is that most of the Israelite kings -- meaning the kings of both the northern and the southern kingdoms which resulted from the division -- either actively indulged in, or at least permitted and tolerated such evils as blatant idolatry -- which included the sacrifice of young children to the false god Molech -- and different forms of divination and sorcery. This sad truth is made quite evident by verses such as the following, where we see that the Jews abandoned the Lord, and bowed down to the false gods of the nations which surrounded them:
"And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger . . . Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so. And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."
Judges 2:12, 16-19, KJV
"And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him."
Judges 10:6, KJV
"And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them."
1 Chronicles 5:25, KJV
"Now it came to pass, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense unto them. Wherefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent unto him a prophet, which said unto him, Why hast thou sought after the gods of the people, which could not deliver their own people out of thine hand?"
2 Chronicles 25:14-15, KJV
"And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz. For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers."
2 Chronicles 28:22-25, KJV
"But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods: but he kept not that which the LORD commanded."
1 Kings 11:1-10, KJV
"And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger."
2 Kings 21:6, KJV
"And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish."
Jeremiah 27:8-10, KJV
Despite Scriptural examples such as the above which clearly reveal the Lord's all-seeing nature, it seems that for some odd reason, certain people have the mistaken idea that their wickedness is hidden from God. They go about committing evil as if they will never be found out, or be held accountable, for their actions. This dark, misguided mentality is clearly revealed in the following verses:
"They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?"
Psalms 64:5, KJV
"The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face."
Job 24:15, KJV
"He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor. He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net."
Psalms 10:8-9, KJV
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."
John 3:19-20, KJV
Clearly then, we are only deceiving ourselves when we think that our wicked deeds are hidden from the Lord. Be it known to you that there is absolutely nothing hidden from the face of God. He knows our darkest secrets, and He sees all of our sins. The wickedness of our heart is laid bare before Him. This plain truth is revealed by the following verses:
". . . behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out."
Numbers 32:23b, KJV
"O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee."
Psalms 69:5, KJV
"Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance."
Psalms 90:8, KJV
"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 23:24, KJV
"He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him."
Daniel 2:22, KJV
". . . Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad."
Mark 4:21b-22, KJV
"For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known."
Luke 12:2, KJV
"If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin."
John 15:22, KJV
"Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do."
Hebrews 4:13, KJV
Furthermore, in God's appointed time, we shall all be held accountable for our actions, whether they are good or evil. The Scriptures inform us that we shall all appear before the great Throne of God, and the Judgment Seat of Christ, as we see by the following verses:
"If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?"
Proverbs 24:12, KJV
"For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."
Ecclesiastes 12:14, KJV
"For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Matthew 16:27, KJV
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world . . . Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:"
Matthew 25:31-34, 41, KJV
"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
John 5:28-29, KJV
"So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
Romans 14:12, KJV
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
2 Corinthians 5:10, KJV
"And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"
1 Peter 1:17, KJV
"Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead . . . For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
1 Peter 4:4-5, 17, KJV
". . . I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."
Revelation 2:23b, KJV
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."
Revelation 14:13, KJV
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
Revelation 20:11-13, KJV
Because God does see all of our evil and sins, and because He knows that He is eventually going to have to judge each of us accordingly, throughout the Bible, through the mouths of His many Prophets and Messengers, He clearly informs us that He has presented us with a choice. The Lord pleads with us to depart from evil, to do good, to choose life, and to be obedient to His Word, in order that we might receive His blessings in our lives, as can be seen by the following sample verses:
"See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."
Deuteronomy 30:15-20, KJV
"And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Job 28:28, KJV
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it."
Psalms 34:14, KJV
"Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore."
Psalms 37:27, KJV
"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil."
Proverbs 3:7, KJV
"By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil . . . The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul."
Proverbs 16:6, 17, KJV
"Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;"
Isaiah 1:16, KJV
". . . return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good."
Jeremiah 18:11b, KJV
"Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken."
Amos 5:14, KJV
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
Romans 12:21, KJV
Using light and darkness as an analogy, Jesus and the writers of the New Testament inform us that by forsaking evil, we leave the darkness behind and walk in the Light of His fellowship. Once we have begun walking in the Light, we are told to not look back to the darkness, but rather to share the Light of the Gospel with the world. The following verses demonstrate these points:
"Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16, KJV
"But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God."
John 3:21, KJV
"The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."
Romans 13:12, KJV
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
2 Corinthians 4:6, KJV
"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?"
2 Corinthians 6:14, KJV
"For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light . . . And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Ephesians 5:8, 11, KJV
"Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:"
Colossians 1:13, KJV
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5, KJV
"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
1 Peter 2:9, KJV
"If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
1 John 1:6-7, KJV
This issue regarding the contrast between the darkness and the light is also discussed at length in articles such as "The Children of Light: Are You One of Us?", "Do You Want Love and Light, or Rod and Wrath?", "Dracula, Nosferatu, Twilight: The Vampire Fad", and "This Little Light, Glory of the Lord and Our Bright Future". Please consider reading them.
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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