A Voice in the
Wilderness

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Re: Hear, See, Speak No Evil  (Isaiah 33:13-17)

There is an old expression that some used to taunt the naive or
goody-goodies with: "Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." This
would be said, laughingly, of those who seemed to be like the
proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. Totally oblivious to
life's realities.

The environment I grew up in as a lad was one in which, if a person
thought about it, there was hardly anything a "Christian" could -do-.
Everything was "don't". Don't do this, don't do that; don't drink,
don't dance, don't smoke, don't play cards, don't go to movies, don't
go to bars, etc. Don't, don't, don't. In fact, I've even heard some
proclaim about certain others they were talking about, as to
"how-good-a-Christian" they were, based on how they measured up to
these standards of "don't"s. Closest today that approaches that outlook
is many of the KJV-only-based Baptist and Independent Fundamental type
churches.  Although, by what I read here and there from time-to-time,
it seems that even many of these groups today are slipping from this
set of 'standards'.

Now, if a person grew up in such an environment, and didn't participate 
in all the world's ways, naturally, there was a certain sense of
"ignorance". There were many things as a kid that I did not understand,
that others were talking about. It was only once I became an adult and
was out in the world on my own, that I received quite an 'education' in
many things. And if the naive Christian doesn't understand, they can
often be laughed at and ridiculed for their ignorance.

Well, unless you "try it", how can you speak to a subject? What's so
wrong with getting drunk? Have you ever gotten smashed? No? Well, you
aren't qualified to judge me, then! You don't know what you're talking 
about, because you "haven't been there". This sort of stupid reasoning
is attached to all sorts of things the world does, which the Christian
doesn't. If you haven't done it, don't judge me!! And all sorts of 
"status" is garnered by the world, the more times and more severely 
they got drunk, and ended up in jail, had an accident. Did drugs and 
got into other trouble. The more sexual partners one has had, the more
'prowess' to brag about. And if you're "inexperienced" in all these
things? Oh, you poor pitiable thing!

Hmmm... "...He who walks righteously and speaks with equity; he who
despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands free from
holding bribes, who stops his ear from hearing of blood, and shuts his
eyes from seeing evil.." (Is33:15)

This is the 'poor-pitiable-thing' we just mentioned. The Bible usually
speaks of our manner-of-life as a "walk". God in this verse speaks of
ones who walk "righteously". Same word as for "just" or "justice". A
person or contending parties appear before the judge, and if the judge
is not corrupt, a verdict is handed down to vindicate the one who was
in the right and law-abiding, and punish the offender. The one who
so-walks is one who, if they were brought up on charges, the judge
would dismiss them, because the person is walking within-the-law. Justly.
Righteously.

This person speaks with "equity". Many translations use the word
"uprightly". But the word has to do with something being "level". Like
weighing things in the scales so that the balance bar levels out. This
person is not busy promoting self, while tearing others down. This
person sees things honestly, and speaks accordingly. Just yesterday
with a customer, in idle chit-chat the subject of "liars" came up. He
shared an expression his uncle had used to say to him: "If you always
tell the truth, you won't have any trouble -remembering- what you have
said." Such is this person.

What does he do if somebody comes along, trying to 'tilt' those scales
of equity with bribes or sweet-talking? He "shakes his hands free" of
such dishonesty; with the same loathing one shakes off slime one's hand
gets into. Eeeooou, Yuck! Get it away from me!

Notice what else he does: He "stops his ear from hearing" and his "eyes 
from seeing..." What? Blood and evil. He is not continually digging 
into various things, and other peoples' affairs, to discover all the 
"juicy" gossip, scandals and perversions. Remember the old saying, 
"Curiosity killed the cat".

Oh, but... isn't the life of such a one terribly 'boring'? Isn't such a
one terribly 'out-of-touch'?

Well, if we were to see that one verse, just by itself, we don't have 
the full picture. Notice that his "dwelling is on high". (vs16) Notice 
also that such a person lives secure, and has enough to sustain him.  
The psalmist said, "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not
seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." (Ps37:25)

Notice something else: "..Your eyes shall see the King in His beauty.." 
(vs17)  Aaah! So "out-of touch" he is, you say?  Well...with the
'world', yes. But you see where such a person ends up... in the
presence of God.

We've considered the seductress, and keeping away from the
foreign tongue...  keep in mind that, if you "try it" to see "if you
like it", you can NEVER "undo" it. You can never un-hit a person. You
can never un-tell a lie. And you can never un-sleep with a seductress.

The father warns his son, "Take fast hold of instruction, do not let
her go; keep her, for she is your life.  Do not enter the path of the
wicked, and do not go in the way of evil.  Avoid it, do not pass by it;
turn from it and pass on.  For they do not sleep unless they have done
evil, and their sleep is taken away unless they cause someone to fall."
(Pr4:13-16)

Oh, but sin is soooo enticing. Well, avoid it. Don't even go "the way
to her house" (Pr7:8) to see "if she's there". Turn the other way, go
along, and don't look back. Those who are "in-the-know"? What is their
knowledge? How to "cause someone to fall". Wann-a-cigarette? Oh, try
this weed. C'mon, just this once...I really "love -only- you". All 
those others (I've been with)? They were 'nothing'!

"Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the wicked,
nor has stood in the way of sinners, nor has sat in the seat of the
scornful.  But his delight is in the Law of Jehovah; and in His Law he
meditates day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the
rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, and its leaf 
shall not wither, and all that he does shall prosper.  The wicked are 
not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.  Therefore the 
wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation 
of the righteous.  For Jehovah knows the way of the righteous; but the 
way of the wicked shall perish." (Ps1:1-6)

Notice the verb tenses. We certainly know that God's forgiveness and
grace is abundant to all who repent before Him. But notice the
blessedness to the one who "HAS NOT walked..." in the way of the
wicked. He has -never- been there to be corrupted, and -then- have to
repent and be cleansed.

David, the man "after God's own heart" (1Sam13:14), nevertheless was a 
man of bloodshed. David, the one whose lineage Christ was named after, 
was not allowed to build God's temple. Who can be in God's holy place?
"He who has clean hands and a pure heart..." (Ps24:3-4) Yes, David's
heart was close to God, but his life of bloodshed... well, he could not
unshed that blood. Mind you, he was being obedient to God in waging the
war campaigns he did. Nevertheless, the building of the temple was left
to his 'naive' son...the one without all the past in violence.
Certainly, once he got into his reign, he slid away from God... but his
beginning was a pure background; and he was commissioned to build God's
temple

Trouble today is: Today's apostates prefer the violent carnage of a 
S/Paul who used to persecute the church and got saved. (1Cor15:9-10) 
They love to hear the blow-by-blow account of the former life. Or, to 
be -voyeurs- of "the very act" (Jn8:4) of the woman caught in adultery,
because that's what they'd like to be doing, themselves. If there is a
"Joseph" who gets sold into slavery, and becomes elevated to ruler,
fine. Or something 'spectacular' like a miraculous deliverance from
lions like Daniel, even better.

But how many ever desire to be like Samuel? Certainly, it could be said 
that he grew up as a "goody-goody". He grew up in service in God's
tabernacle ever since he was barely able to leave the nursing of his
mother. David the king may have been great... but 'who' -anointed- him?
Saul who tried to kill David, cowered in his presence. And yet, nobody
lusts after Samuel's story/testimony, nor to be like him.

Certainly, naivete garners scorn from all those who are 'popular' and
and the party-animals.  But notice their outcome: they "shall perish".
(Ps1:6)

Is that what you want?

"Abhor what is evil. Cleave to what is good" (Rom12:9) "But I want you
to be wise unto what is good, and simple toward evil." (Rom16:19b)
"Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does
good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God." (3Jn11)

Amen!