That I May Discern Between Good and Evil

The New Testament says the events in the Old Testament serve as examples for people today. Therefore, we should be very cautious of modern preachers who dismiss and criticize the Old Testament, saying it’s been done away with because of Christ (who declares that He did “not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets … but to fulfill them” [Matthew 5:17]) and is now irrelevant.

One of the things we would be wise to consider is the tendency of the people of old to dismiss God’s instructions and trying to combine idolatrous practices with the worship of God. And when tragedy occurred, there was the impulse to trust in the wisdom of men rather than turning and inquiring of God.

Today, do we not see the same tendencies? In many churches, crazy things are happening. People are assuming it’s of God simply because it’s “miraculous,” despite the fact such manifestations are not recorded in the Scriptures as being from God (e.g., “gold dust,” convulsions, etc.). There has also been an increase in persons in churches promoting Eastern mysticism and New Age occultism, such as enneagrams, yoga, and goddess worship. We must not dismiss the fact that the New Testament explicitly warns us that the time will come when “some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1)

Also consider the ancient’s tendency to put their trust in the wisdom of men, instead of inquiring of the Lord, when tragedies and famines occurred. Isaiah writes, “The people did not turn to him who struck them, nor inquire of the LORD of hosts” (9:13). In other words, while the Lord was disciplining the people and trying to get their attention, the people only dug their heels and refused to repent of their wickedness. Come hell or high water, they would figure out a way to get out of their mess. This never played out well for them. This will never play out well for us either.

Are we not seeing these tendencies of the sinful human heart being played out all around us, even in churches? We would do well to sincerely follow young King Solomon’s prayer request when his reign began. “I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in…. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (1 Kings 3:9).

How has the church become so entangled with politics and thinking our leaders can get us out of the mess we’re in? How have Christians become so trusting of their hear that they disregard the warnings of the Scriptures? May we become a humble people who acknowledge our desperate need of God’s bestowing His wisdom and help. If we continue to trust in our own wisdom and experiences, this will not play out well for us. Many might curse my “negativity,” but what do the Scriptures say? Oh, that God would grant us an understanding, that we may discern between good and evil.