3. The wicked in power

       When the wicked are in power, people in general suffer. Corruption, social injustice, deceptive scams, and organized crime run rampant. Identity theft and telephone scams are some of the newest evil tactics. Everyone is susceptible to fall victim if not careful. Christians in general are particularly more vulnerable because of their credulous nature.

       What do you do when you are victimized? First, beware you do not fall victim a second time, because of self-righteousness. You may direct your frustration toward God, because He did not stop, nor punish, the wicked. By this logic, you think you could rule the world better than God himself.  Second, in anger, you may resort to repay evil with evil, or shutdown compassion altogether in future dealings with people. “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” (Matt 24:12) The anger of victims is a powerful force. It has been proven manipulative by wicked people to do more damage. Somehow, victims seem to think that they have the right to retribution, and should be treated more leniently.

        An example of this is recorded in Genesis 34.  Dinah, Jacob's daughter, was defiled by Shechem.  In retaliation, her brothers killed every male in the city where Shechem lived, and “they seized their flocks and herds and donkeys and everything else of theirs in the city and out in the fields.  They carried off all their wealth and all their women and children, taking as plunder everything in the houses.”  When Jacob pursued this matter with his sons, they callously answered “Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?”

        For this reason, the Bible teaches us to endure, be patient, and not resort to anger. Victims should rightly be vindicated, but are not justified to take the law into their own hands. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil.  For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.        Psalm 37:7-9     

        Being angry with injustice does not necessarily mean one is "just". The anger may be a surging emotion that demands retaliation towards the wicked.  All one cares about is retribution, or revenge.  Behaviors from such anger are usually blinded of justice.  On the other hand, one that has justice in mind will insist on fairness, integrity, and goodness - a position that is to be respected and not to be trampled on.  We should leave retribution to God who is holy, righteous, and does not show favoritism.  We must be patient and wait on Him to destroy evil.

For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.            Psalm 37:9                    (more next week)

 

( 續上週)                                                                              忍耐

三、惡人當道

        眼見惡人當道、義人受苦害、窮人受欺壓、誠實人被欺騙等等,人們都會憤怒,並指責這樣的醜惡和不公;隨後就有所行動,要起來伸張正義。美其名這些行動被視爲「義行」,因爲是爲了匡扶正義。這是股非常強勁的力量。自古以來,政客和野心家都曉得它的威力,懂得操作、利用這種情緒,達到他們不可告人的目的。爲此,聖經教導我們要先忍一忍,等一等,不要被「義憤」衝昏了頭腦。

         詩篇 37:7-9

         7 你當默然倚靠耶和華,耐性等候他;不要因那道路通達的和那惡謀成就的心懷不平。

         8 當止住怒氣,離棄忿怒;不要心懷不平,以致作惡。

         9 因為作惡的必被剪除;惟有等候耶和華的必承受地土。

            首先,我們不要自以爲義;以爲上帝對公義漠不關心,需要你我來幫忙除惡,伸張正義。也不要自視過高,以爲自己有義。其實上帝比誰都關心公義。但祂更關心那些「心懷不平,以致作惡」的人,因爲他們在「自義」的粉飾之下,會作出更惡的事來。

            創世記34章就記載了一件類似的事。雅各的女兒底拿被士劍玷辱了。她的哥哥們就設計將全城的男丁都殺了,並「奪了他們的羊群、牛群,和驢,並城裡田間所有的;又把他們一切貨財、孩子、婦女,並各房中所有的,都擄掠去了。」到雅各向他的兒子們追究這事時,他們的回答還振振有辭的說:「他豈可待我們的妹子如同妓女嗎?

             心懷「不平」不等於心懷「公義」。心懷「不平」是一種澎湃、要求惡人遭報的情緒。它關心的是報應,甚至是報復,要讓憤恨得以發泄而後快;出自「不平」的行爲往往是盲目的。相對地,心懷「公義」則是一種堅決要求「公平、正直、美善」被尊重、不容踐踏的立場;至於報應,就留待那位聖潔、公義,也不偏待人的上帝執行。我們要忍耐,等候祂要剪除惡人。

             9 因為作惡的必被剪除;惟有等候耶和華的必承受地土。                                                 (下週續……)