God gave us a free will to choose good versus evil.
In the beginning of hunting season, at the crack of dawn, along the Hudson River it sounds like a war zone as hunters spring from ambush to slaughter as many ducks and geese as they can.
There is nothing accidental about this killing; it is premeditated, which classifies their actions as murder in the eyes of God.
They have chosen to do what is evil in the sight of God by following the ways of the world rather than choosing to follow the heavenly will of God.
Letís take a look at Psalm 64:1-10 in the light of our ability to choose good versus evil.
1. Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
Preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
While King David may have been talking about himself in this psalm, we also
see a strong parallel to the wild animals, and the other animals held
captive on factory farms and in laboratories.
For these animals live in dread of their enemy, human beings.
This is exactly what God said would happen because of mankindís evil desire to eat animals, as we are told in Genesis 9:2.
2. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and
all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground,
and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands.
Instead of choosing to preserve the loving relationship that God created for
us to have with the animals, we chose to do evil.
God had given us charge over the animals before we disobeyed God, but now God has put the fear of human beings upon every animal to help protect them from us.
Letís go onÖ
2. Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers,
From the tumult of those who do iniquity,
3. Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword.
They aimed bitter speech as their arrow,
4. To shoot from concealment at the blameless;
Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear.
This is exactly what hunters do.
They make blinds along the shore or on small boats to shoot at ducks and geese from ambush, just as we hear at the crack of dawn during the hunting season.
And other hunters shoot from tree stands, and some even use odorants or food to attract the unsuspecting and innocent animals.
They all have the opportunity to choose good versus evil, but instead of following God, they choose to follow the devil who delights in pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death.
5. They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose;
They talk of laying snares secretly;
They say, "Who can see them?"
Many of the animals who get caught in these snares and traps die horrible deaths.
6. They devise injustices, saying,
"We are ready with a well-conceived plot";
For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep.
This is why God said in Genesis 8:21, ďÖthe intent of man's heart is evil
from his youth.Ē
As we continue with our Psalm reading, we are told that God himself will punish the wicked people who do these evil things to the animals and to our fellow human beings.
7. But God will shoot at them with an arrow;
Suddenly they will be wounded.
This is a spiritual arrow that will wound their minds, hearts, and souls with the conviction of the evil that they are doing.
8. So they will make him stumble;
Their own tongue is against them;
All who see them will shake the head.
9. Then all men will fear,
And will declare the work of God,
And will consider what He has done.
We only wish that all people would recognize these things, but alas, only a relatively few seem to have heard and changed their lifestyles and become true peacemaking children of God.
10. The righteous man will be glad in the LORD, and will take refuge in Him;
And all the upright in heart will glory.
The righteous person will choose good versus evil.
This is the way the world should be.
This is living in the heavenly will of God.
With these things in mind, letís now take a look at Joel 2:21-32, where he tells of the Lordís desire for our lives.
21. Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad,
For the LORD has done great things.
22. Do not fear, beasts of the field,
For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green,
For the tree has borne its fruit,
The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full.
In other words, in that day the Lord will remove the fear of the animals, as it was in the beginning, so that they can once again live in peace; for humans will finally choose good versus evil, and live as peacemaking children of God as the Lord originally intended.
23. So rejoice, O sons of Zion,
And be glad in the LORD your God;
For He has given you the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain,
The early and latter rain as before.
24. And the threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.
This is the good that God has always wanted for our lives, which includes eating only plant foods.
25. "Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust, and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.
26. "And you shall have plenty to eat and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.
We put ourselves to shame when we choose evil over good, and follow the ways
of the devil.
We need to open our hearts and souls to the unction of the Holy Spirit.
27. "Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the LORD your God
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.
28. "And it will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29. "And even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
No one will be left out, and all will be free.
And then the Lord speaks of these last times:
30. "And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire, and columns of smoke.
31. "The sun will be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
So, let us not forget that we have the ability to choose good versus evil, and live in peace with God.
32. "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the LORD has said,
Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
As we turn to the Gospel of Luke 18:9-14, letís look at this passage in the
light of ability to choose good versus evil, as well as seeing the way that
Jesus addresses the ones who follow the evil ways of the world.
In this passage, Jesus gives us an example for us to live by.
9. And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves
that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
10. "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer.
11. "The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer.
12. 'I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.'
13. "But the tax-gatherer, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'
14. "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted."
Those who try to justify their worldly way of deceiving and killing Godís
creatures, like the hunters we discussed above, are like the Pharisee who
chose evil, even though he pretended to be good before others.
We are not to be like that.
We are to choose good versus evil, and reject the evil.
This is living in the heavenly will of God.
Return to: Sermons Archive