When we look around us we cannot miss the fact that our nation is depraved and godless. Evil is no longer hiding around the corner, it is full in our face and society and the media glories in it. Our schools teach children how to commit grown-up sinful acts, and our churches see no harm in allowing perverted preachers in the pulpit. We are no different from Israel, who were given holy standards to live by, but chose to disobey the Lord and follow after the paganism that surrounded them. The more they disassociated themselves from God, the greater the depth of evil they permitted amongst themselves. What was once an abomination soon became acceptable behaviour. How often did God send judges and prophets with a call to put away evil from the land?
Put away the false prophet
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). How we hate to see the false teachers spreading their pernicious doctrines, but is it not sad that Christians today do not have enough discernment to spot the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ (Matthew 7:15)? The false prophets and their evil teachings must be put away.
Put away the covenant breaker
“If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you” (Deuteronomy 17:2-7). The Law was given to keep the people from sin and paganism, but this did not stop some from taking liberties with it. Maybe they thought that since the Lord was a loving God and that He would not punish them. Not only are we in the same sorry state today, but the very Gospel that can free them from sin is mocked and those who preach it are regarded as legalistic idiots. Though the word of God is ridiculed, the judgement will still come. “And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously” (Deuteronomy 17:12-13).
Put away the stubborn
“If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). While there is no Bible record of this actually being put into action, we can see how strongly God expects us to deal with sin. The fact is that the vast majority of crimes and social unrest are caused by youths who have never been disciplined at home. Good citizenship does not begin on the street but in the family. Children today are treated like little gods, pampered, and hardly ever punished for their misbehaviour. They just know that they can get away with it. It is an undeniable fact that “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child”, but the true evil lies with the parents who do not have the guts to discipline their children. “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him” (Proverbs 22:15). The spoilt children of today become the petty criminals of tomorrow.
To put away evil from amongst us requires faithfulness and determination on our part. Whatever action we think needs to be taken to sort out the mess in the church, the land and the family, it has to start within our own lives first, for how can we condemn others if we are not obeying the Lord ourselves? “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone …” (John 8:7). Nevertheless, the government, church leaders and families not only condone but encourage sinfulness in the land. Education cannot solve the moral slide towards the bottomless pit, only a return to Biblical standards will prevail. The decay has to be ripped out at its very roots. Our MPs, Police and teachers cannot solve the problems on our streets, but Christians can. We have been given the responsibility of putting away evil and bringing deliverance to the lost. “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).