THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 8-10-08
LESSON TITLE: "THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATES: GOD HATES FEET THAT ARE SWIFT TO RUN TO EVIL"
Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. A work of our Lord committed to studying His Will and to doing things in His Way. As always, it is our hope and prayer that everything we do together will be edifying to each of us, but ultimately it is our goal to glorify God, the Almighty! Let me encourage each of us to do our part this morning in making this time together profitable in His sight. Now, let's talk to the Father in prayer!
This morning, we want to start with a song that reminds us of this great blessing we have as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "Blest Be The Tie That Binds!"
(SONG # 1)
We all know that our service to God is very important as children of His. However, we often forget the many different aspects that are included in this service. Let's take a few minutes and consider one important quality which we must all have to find favor with God. Read with me the words of Peter in 1 Peter 5:5, there he said, "...Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Here we are instructed to cloth ourselves with humility.
You and I know that humility is sometimes a hard thing to have. Especially in a country and society that has everything to offer, where very few if any have any idea what true suffering and struggles are all about. Even many songs today are written about how hard it is to be humble. Let me remind you of a fact you may have forgotten. We must be humble because Christ was willing to be humble.
In Philippians 2:6-7, we are reminded that Jesus was God, but yet He was willing to become merely a man. There it says, "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Furthermore, in verse 8 of the same text, Paul said, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to leave the Father and to become a man and suffer - finally to the extent of even giving His own life as a sacrifice on the cross. Now, you tell me again how hard it is to be humble. The fact is, if Christ was willing to humble Himself in such a great way for us, shouldn't we be willing to learn humility ourselves from the Master teacher?
Let's also remember that there is a reward to those who learn this great lesson. In James 4:10, we read, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." Are you willing to practice the humility that God wants you to have? Remember that being Christ-like is learning the lesson of being humble as He was!
Today, we are happy to have brother Brent Green with us as our guest speaker. Brother Brent is the School Representative for the Bible Institute of Missouri. He also works as one of the ministers of the Kansas Expressway Church of Christ. We are glad he has joined us today to lead our thoughts from God's Word.
As for our discussion this morning, we will be continuing our series entitled "The Things Which God Hates." Our specific topic this morning will address the fact that, "God Hates Feet That Are Swift To Run To Evil." So please stay with us and after our next song together, brother Green will return to lead us in this study from God's Word. Now, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing our second hymn of the day, the name of the song, "Count Your Many Blessings."?
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
It is good to be with you again and join with you an hour of studying the Word of God as we bring to you things from God's Word that tell us the things that we need to live for today.
We've been going through a series here on Sunday mornings about the things that God hates. So there in Proverbs chapter 6 beginning in verse 16 we see these very things. It says, "These six things the Lord hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him. A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies and one who sows discord among the brethren." Well, these things are the things which God hates. It is also interesting to note as well that just before this God talked about laziness, the fact that He does not like those in His kingdom to be slothful, to be lazy. He says, "For them to go to the ant, consider her ways and be wise, how diligent that she works to provide for her own," and when He gets to this section, He says, "These are the things which the Lord hates." Well if the Lord can't stand laziness, how much more does He hate these things? Those who are actually seeking and doing things that are not right, not just sitting there idly but who are actually doing things that are wrong. And so He says, "These six things, yes, seven are an abomination to the Lord."
And so we'll consider at this time the one He says there about the feet, "The feet that are swift and running to evil." And so to understand what this means is to understand really what it means to say the Lord or God hates these seven things. So to hate something, and we often think that God cannot have anything to do with hate, that God can't hate anything. Well, we've got to understand what it is that these things are. They are actually those things that are in opposition to the very nature of God.
There in 1 John chapter 1 and verse 5, it says, "This is the message that we heard from Him and declare to you..." That what? "That God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." So by the very nature of God, He is light. He is purity. He is holiness. And so to consider God having anything to do with evil, things that are sinful, things that are impure, things that are unrighteous, God can have nothing to do with those things. And so the word "hate" here really brings forth the idea that these things are the enemy of God and so the line has been drawn. God is on one side as He is the light and in Him is no darkness. On the other side is that darkness, those things of the world which are sinful. So here it tells us that God hates these things. He hates these things of the world that are in opposition to Him, that He can have nothing to do with. One of them is the feet of those that are swift to run to evil. So often we think about doing evil in this world and the choices that we make and it is very easy at times to choose the things that just aren't right in the sight of God. But what do we do when we do that? We've made ourselves enemies of God by choosing those things which God Himself can have nothing to do with.
And so we even see in verses in other places in the Bible especially in Psalms, Psalm 45 and verse 7 where it tells us to "love righteousness and to hate wickedness." The fact that you can only adhere to one side at a time. You're either loving righteousness or you're hating wickedness. You can't do both at the same time. Or you can do both and you should do both, but you can't love righteousness and you can't love wickedness at the same time. You've got to choose which one you're going to do.
So also when we see there in Amos chapter 5 in verse 15 the commandment there, the exhortation there to "hate evil and to love good." You can't love both good and evil at the same time. You've got to choose. So he says, "Hate evil and love good."
Well that's the idea put forth here from God Himself that He can have nothing to do with the things of this world that are wrong. But wickedness is a sin, and so those things are the enemy of God. So he says, "If you want to follow Me, if you want to be those that are walking in the path of righteousness, walk in the light as God is in the light." There going back to 1 John chapter 1. You've got to do those things which put you on the side of God, not make you an enemy of God. And so "these six things, yes, seven are an abomination to the Lord, the feet that are swift in running to do evil."
The fact is there are some who have those feet that are very quick, very swift to run to do those things which are evil. So you can probably think of those people in your own life, even going back to the small things in your school days. You knew of the classmates that you had, the children in the school that when somebody was getting in trouble, when somebody was going to the principles office, when somebody couldn't go out to recess, you knew who those people would be because they were very quick, very swift into getting into mischief and in getting into trouble and doing things that weren't right. But even beyond just the little small things that we can remember from grade school, think about this world and all the evil that is within it and the things that we could take a part of. Well, think again to those people that are so swift to jump on the band wagon and get involved in those things that just are not right in the sight of God. The fact is we all fall into that category from time to time when we ourselves have those swift feet that are running to do things that are not right in the sight of God.
The idea of being swift here is almost... actually comes from the root of "to be liquid." And so as you would take a glass of water and turn it over, as that water falls out and it falls to the floor, or on your lap, how quick that water flows from that cup. Well that's the idea of being swift. There are those that just as the water is poured out of the glass, they are right there. They are that quick. They are that swift to be in the things of sin. So they are there amidst it and among it and doing those things that they shouldn't be. They are right there sitting in it. And so those things that people are doing in this world many times and so often are not things that are holy before God. People that are quick to run to sin.
I want you to consider a verse, also, in Romans chapter 3. It's actually a quotation from the book of Proverbs but is reiterated by Paul to the Romans the idea that there are others that are swift to do something else. And here he says in verse 15 of Romans chapter 3 that, "There are those whose feet are swift to shed blood." So he is actually talking there about the fact that, even if you go to verse 23, "that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." He begins to give a list here in the prior verses of Romans chapter 3, some of those sins that people had done and people were still doing. One of them was "those that had feet that were swift to shed innocent blood." So much so greater are the spiritual consequences to those feet that are swift to running to evil. More than just going to the principal's office or missing recess, those consequences that came upon those that were swift to get into mischief when they were younger, but the consequences of being swift in running to do evil in the sight of God, well ultimately can result in eternal damnation, a life of eternity spent in Hell. Well, those are grave consequences. So we consider here the consequence of those feet that are swift to shed innocent blood. A very grace consequence that people were killing other people. So swift to bring about riches upon themselves. So swift to put other people down that they were actually killing other people.
Well, the idea of running to evil as I mentioned, there is also mentioned in Proverbs chapter 1 and verse 16 as Paul, the writer here of Romans, quoted that verse in saying it to them. And so for years throughout history people have taken a very quick approach, a very swift approach to running to do those things which are not right. But you know what this makes me think of?
The progression of sin that we see in Psalm 1. If you have your Bibles, and if you'll turn to the book of Psalms. Psalm 1 shows us how often sin starts as a very small thing. But when we get engulfed in it, it grows in our lives and becomes to be something that takes over our lives. But there in Psalm 1 and verse 1, it says, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the path of the sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful." So he says, "Blessed is the man, happy is the man who doesn't..." Do what? These three things." It begins with walking in the counsel of the ungodly. So just at first on the surface, he is walking. He is passing by, just on a mere surface level; he is acquainting himself and doing things that are not right in a very sinful way. Then he goes on not only just to walk, but then he stops and he stands in the path of the sinners. So no longer is it just something that he is passing by doing, but now he is still. He is concrete. He is there among the sinners. But no longer is he standing. Now the last thing mentioned is that "he sits in the seat of the scornful." So now he is sitting there. He has made his place of residence, his dwelling, his relaxation where? In the place where sinners dwell. Well, just like a pig wallows in the mud and the muck and the mire, just sitting there getting dirty and filthy, so does the sinner who is not blessed by God but is chosen through his actions to do what? To sit there in that muck and that mire and that sludge and that filth of sin to cover him and to ensnare him and to wrap him in the things of this world. This is what sin does. So what happens? When we have those feet that are swift to run to do evil, what happens? We become ensnared and we become entangled and we become those that are wrapped up in this filth, this muck, this sludge, this dirt of sin and it keeps us from running the race that gets us to Heaven.
So we know that there are those, and we ourselves, at times fall into that category and have those feet that are swift to run to sin. But who are those that are blessed? Well there in Psalm 1 beginning in verse 2 as we continue on in this same passage, "Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law, he meditates day and night." And it compares him to "a tree that is planted by the waters of rich blessings" there, the continual blessings from God. But why? Because he is running. He is running and walking down that path of righteousness that leads to Heaven. So here we see the contrast. Our text today in Proverbs chapter 6, "All these things the Lord hates..." But if the Lord hates feet that are swift to run to do evil, what type of feet does He love? Well He loves those on the contrary that are swift, that are quick to running to do that which is good. And so we see the contrast in the application is great for us, that we don't have to be those that are swift to run to do evil. We don't have to be those that are wrapped up and tied up as sin progresses in our lives. We can be those, rather, that are swift in doing good, that run to those things, those opportunities before us to do what is right in the sight of God.
I think a great place to illustrate the fact of what it means to run for God comes from 1 Corinthians, 1 Corinthians chapter 9. As Paul and other Christians in the 1st century ran a race, many times they found themselves coming across obstacles that were very much harder to overcome than many of the things that we face today, the trials and persecutions that they went through. But Paul talks about running a race for God.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 9 and verse 24, he says, "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it." He says we are all running. We are all in this race of life. We've all got to go through these trials and temptations. He says you have to know that. But how should you run? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. Run how?
Continue on there in verse 25 where he says, "And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things, now they do it to obtain a perishable crown but we for an imperishable crown." Looking for the prize that is before us, the prize of Heaven. "Therefore, I run thus not with uncertainty and I fight not as one who beats the air." He says, "I run not being uncertain." Well, what is he talking about? He knows where he is running. He knows the direction in which he is travelling and he knows the goal, the prize that is before him. He is running the race to get to Heaven. He says to run in that way. Run with certainty. Run how? With feet that are swift to doing good.
Some people are swift to do good. We should be those that are so eager to take opportunities to fulfill our goal and obligation to God to do things that are good for others. How often do we pass by those on the streets and in the stores that we know they are outside and they are begging for money? They are looking for help. Many times they are looking for something that we are not able to give them, but we should have an open heart and an open mind to help those in their time of need. Looking for opportunities and being swift as a glass of water is poured out, being quick to find those opportunities to do good.
I want you to see what it means to be those that are looking and having the path, the direction and the mindset and the proper direction when we run this race with our feet swift to do good. It comes from Hebrews chapter 12 beginning in verse 1 we see the Hebrew writer considering those things which are before us, the things which we could choose, those feet that are often swift to do evil, he says the following. "Therefore, we also since we are surrounded by so great a crowd of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." He says, "Look, don't have feet that are swift to run to do evil. Lay aside those sins, the sin and all those weights that ensnare us, that muck, that mire, leave it behind. Run away from those things." And run where? Run with the direction, with the certainty, with the focus on whom? Looking to Jesus who is our Savior, the author and finisher of our faith. That is how he says to run.
Even Proverbs chapter 18 and verse 10, it says, "The Lord is a strong tower and the righteous run to Him for safety."
Well where do we find refuge? Where do we find safety? Where do we find comfort? It is in the Lord Jesus Christ. So have feet, have a race that you're running that is swift to doing good. The fact is when we do good, many times people look at us very strangely not because maybe we look funny. Some of us may, but the fact is when we are doing good, it often breaks the mold. It sets a standard that people aren't always willing to live up to and people will look at us very strangely.
I want to look at another verse in 1 Peter chapter 4. Here we see the words of those who were once running in sin and now they had turned to running for God. But what was it that people were saying about them when they did good? In verse 4, in regard to those that had taken on a lifestyle of sins, it says that, "They think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation."
People will look at us strange, but we've got to make a choice. Choose to do evil or choose to do good. Let's have those feet that are swift in doing good in the name of the Lord.
(SONG # 3 - "To Christ Be Loyal And Be True!")
Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we participated in the things of God!
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As God's people, may we always stay away from those things that are evil. Rather serving God and putting Him first in all walks of life.