Saturday, 3 August 2013

A Good Reward

Proverbs 17:13 Whoso rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

       One of the best examples of rewarding evil for good in our lifetime was during the 2009 stock market crash. The subprime and liar loans had accelerated a housing crisis that is still gasping for recovery to this day. The housing crash almost brought the US and world economies to ruin. Some say that the economy is still ruined, but we refuse to accept the verdict. 
      News headlines in bold print were regularly flashing on the fraudulent activity of ABCPs Asset-Backed Commercial Paper that had been advertised as solid investments, turned out to be fluff. Banks were caught up in illegal housing foreclosures. The nightly news was awash in scandal and accusations of hubris corruption that went right to the top floors of our trusted financial system. 
      People had trusted in their golden idols and the cost was great. Psalm 12:1 Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. 2 They speak vanity everyone with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. 
      The economic crash of 2009 taught us that anything was acceptable as long as it made big money, and the truth was irrelevant as long as no one got caught in the scheme that was falsified as honest. The moral compass of these financial leaders had become corrupt and broken. Judges 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. 
      When we allow this type of avarice to rule, then there is a danger that, as a society, we will start to rationalize this behavior as normal. Eccl. 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 
      When we start voting by opinion, referendum, or board room majorities on whether or not we are going to obey the instruction of God, well, we have positioned ourselves on a precarious and crumbling ledge.
      I had occasion this week to see the difference between the two choices. Between a choice of honesty, and one of corruption. A young man had found out by error that an email had been sent to his boss. The message had described this young man's addictions and personal failings from his past. By providence or mistake, the accusatory email had come to him first and not to the owner of the company. 
      The young man was upset with what he had read about himself because he had overcome these addictions and problems. He felt that he was being slandered. However, he did not delete the email but he forwarded it to his employer because it was the honest thing to do.
      The following day they talked and everything was put out on the table. Management was grateful for his honesty and said that the complete story was not necessary, but the young man insisted on telling it so that there would never be a doubt in the future. Within a week the honest confessor received a raise in pay and has been given greater responsibility in the company. Luke
 19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house. 
      The second event was different. I was talking with a company owner who had fired an employee that morning. The man fired had been caught in a major lie. The subterfuges and duplicity came down to this. The sales rep had been out on his boat enjoying a cruise on the lake during his work day. However, at the same time, he was texting the office that he was hard at work in another town writing up quotes on location. Num. 32:23b Be sure your sin will find you out. 
      The problem for the employee was that the owner of the company was also out on the same lake in his boat and saw him clearly. Nothing was said until the following week. The owner asked a few innocent questions and the employee continued to elaborate his made-up story of hard work out of town. The end of a good job came tumbling down for the liar. Two choices, two different outcomes. 
      We can rationalize anything we want. Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? No matter what our difficulties are, we cannot overcome them without the Lord's help. Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy the faith fail not. As Timothy Keller says in his book, Counterfeit Gods, "You cannot get rid of an idol that is on the throne of your heart, you must replace the idol with Christ."  
      An idol is anything that causes us to disregard the direction God has set out for our honest lives. Our idols are causing us to make extraordinary absurd statements of belief. We save whales but kill babies. We speak peace and ransack poor countries for their commodities. Isa. 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!     
      What is the answer to this continual madness? True peace and honesty can only come from the Lord of peace. John 14:27a Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. There must be a new way. 2 Cor. 5: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. New, as in start all over. A new beginning with the Lord leading us into real blessing. This is our hope and joy. 
      Jesus has your best interest at heart and will not sell you short. He will not swindle your soul into an unrighteous contract. Jer. 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Let us take our eyes off of our idols that cause us to reward evil for good, and let us focus our eyes upon God who is good. Amen and amen!


  1. Excellente advise which I will apply every day!

  2. As we were reading this, I realized that even more than the physical reward that may come from repaying good with good, is protecting yourself from repositioning your heart a little further from God and His righteousness. It amazes me that after making several little decisions that missed the mark, how the position of the heart can change so much. How dangerous! On the flip side, by repaying good with good, it positions yourself better each time.