When Evil is Found

Last night I was reading in Deuteronomy, currently I am in around chapter 22. Just to give a little background about this book, Moses is accounting all that happened between being freed from slavery in Egypt as well as various events that occurred during their wandering in the wilderness. Along with this, Moses gives praise for God's goodness in rescuing them and Moses also goes over a number of guidelines and laws to follow in order to keep structure and maintain civility. As I was reading, I kept noticing a repeating phrase: "You must purge the evil from among you."
I decided to rewind a couple chapters and count the amount of times I saw this phrase between chapter 17 and 22. I counted a total of nine times. Recently, I have learned that when something in the Bible is said repeatedly, it usually is for a reason - to get the point across that the repeating phrase is truth and should be followed.
With this in mind, I couldn't help but soak up its repetitiveness.
I knew it was for a reason that it was said so many times.

Here we have well over a million, possibly even two million people, and they've just been freed from slavery in Egypt. Now God has to train them to understand and obey a completely different structure. It was very important for Him to lay down these laws, without them there would be very serious issues, sin, and if you boil it down, things would become very disorganized and out of control.

My next thought was: How can I apply this to my life?
There are all sorts of evils in this world. Sin comes in many forms: idolatry, lying, lust, murder, stealing, jealousy, anger, etc. All of us have our own struggles and weaknesses, and all of us are prone to certain temptations.

God made it clear that when evil was found, that it should be purged. I was trying to find the specific meaning for the word "purge" in Deuteronomy but I was having some trouble. After doing some research on the web, my ultimate conclusion was that purge means to purify, or cleanse thoroughly. In some senses it can even mean to prune something. Pruning comes across very strong, for me at least, in the sense that it means something is dead and it must be done away with to keep the entirety of whatever the object (say a plant) healthy.

Returning to my original question, where does the application come in? God made it known that purging or pruning away evil was significant, that it should and must be done. I believe that this same line of logic should apply in our lives as well. If you see evil in your life, a sin you're struggling with, you should purge yourself of it. If you see a friend struggling with a sin, you should hold them accountable and encourage them to purge it from their life. Why is this important? For the same reasons that God told the Israelites to purge the evil. Evil is not just some nice little thing that you want to keep around. It's ugly, it destroys, its entire aim is to wreck havoc in the world, people's lives, in everything! If you follow Christ, you know that sin will not build you up or make you more Christlike, but instead it pulls you away from Him and can even put off your spiritual growth. That is why purging evil and sin is SO important! We all know it's a lot easier said than done, but with God as our stronghold, there is nothing we cannot overcome.

A verse that has been encouraging to me in life is 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 which says:

"But he
(Jesus) said to me (Paul), “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 10Therefore I (Paul) will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I challenge you, as a follower of Christ, to take a look at your heart, your life, your mind, your words, your actions, everything, and see where evil may lie. If you find something, and I'm certain you will, then take a long look at it. Why is this evil in your life? How have you let it in? What can you do to be rid of it? What steps can you take to prevent from falling into it again? I encourage you to seek out the prayer and council of others depending on the gravity of this evil as well as receiving accountability from those who you are close to. Accountability can do wonders, wonders I say! It's so incredibly beneficial and can build you up in a way like nothing else can. Find a close and sincere friend or two, and share with them about this evil or struggle you're dealing with. Don't be too ashamed to share, that's the biggest trap of the devil. He wants you to feel stuck in sin, that you can't get out of it, that everyone will think you're a terrible person or that they will only judge you for it. It's not true! If you seek out and share with true lovers and followers of Jesus, they will want to support you, encourage you, and walk through the struggle with you, so that you may see the sweet victory found in Jesus!

"Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
   one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
   and has no one to help them up."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


  1. Good verse and good advice. See also Proverbs 27:17.

  2. Hey Tyler! I saw on FB that you have a blog as well, that's so cool!

    Good Bible verse! Didn't think of that one. :) Thanks for sharing it!


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