Reading through the Bible, one similar phase occurs over 49 times, particularly in the Old Testament. It is a phrase that indicates someone, or a people, was doing “evil in the sight of the Lord” or “evil in the eyes of the Lord”.
Perhaps, the people committing the sin did not recognize their transgressions as wrong or angering God. Maybe it was the farthest thing from their minds; but while they were doing wrong, God was watching, and His hammer of judgment would shortly pound down and shatter their plans and intents, and others also would suffer. Perhaps they even thought, as they do today, “Oh, everyone is doing it, too”, or “I’ve done this before and nothing ever happened, so why should it now?”
What was it that was so wicked in God’s eyes? Their offenses included complaining, idolatry, not giving God the attention and respect He deserved, casting spells, lying, cheating, uncleanliness, debauchery, witchcraft, killing innocent people (including children), observing of the times (similar to what we would call astrology), and not obeying God’s commandments. Gulp! Reading through that list does not sound any different than what is happening today.
Discontentment is shown by what is uttered from many lips today. Not many are happy with what they have, or who they are. They had hopes that “things” would fill the empty spots in their lives, but their lives were even more empty.
God is certainly not getting the respect He should be getting, as many mock Him and live contrary to how His Word instructs us. Sin is on the rise, but it never is a time when the people, as a whole are happy. Current statistics indicate many are suffering from depression, and many had so little hope that they took their own lives.
Practicing witchcraft and occult practices are also increasing, even in churches. Many of today’s popular movies have these practices in the movie’s theme, and are even watched by Christians.
Life has less meaning to many, which explains the rise in murders and even the taking of unborn babies’ lives through abortion. Too many are ignorant of what God’s commands are. It is quite evident evil, by God’s standards, is rampant today.
Many more are affected in the 49 uses of the phrase than just the committers of sin. Examinations of the phrase show that:
- 12 of the usages of the phrase were remarks about individuals that were not leaders.
- 16 of the usages referred to national sin; usually the nation of Israel.
- 33 of the usages referred to a leader, such as a king. They are the ones we remember as doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.”
- 23 of the usages indicated that the person committing the sin was following someone else’s example, as: “as did his father”, or “walked in the way of his father”.
- Six of the usages made it clear that the one doing evil was forcing others to do likewise.
Interestingly, we see that only 12 of those seen by God as doing wicked were common folk, like you and me. All sin, and God sees everyone’s sin. This wickedness rated serious attention by God to be stopped, and to teach others not to continue committing the wickedness.
The highest offenders against God were the leaders of the country. 33 times the leader was recalled as doing “… evil in the eyes of the Lord ….” Their influence, quite often, turned the entire nation to sin against God.
If our leaders today would only see this! If they would only see how their laws and leadership are no different than those that God judged in the Bible, and change their leadership to one that God would bless rather than discipline all of us for. Many kings in the Bible have a testimony recorded forever in the Word of God as one of those that did “evil in the sight of the Lord”. What a terrible epitaph on one’s life to be remembered for doing wrong! Unfortunately, many of today’s leaders will also be remembered for an evil leadership.
In many of the phrases, another frightful reality is apparent. Much of the parents’ wickedness was copied by their children. Over 23 times, those that did evil were doing just like their parents did. “… walked in the way of his father …” explains where the wicked-doer got their instruction. A parent’s sin cannot only ruin their own life and their children’s, but the wages of their sin can affect future generations (Ex. 20:5, Ex. 34:7, Num. 14:18).
In a time when it is not important to many what God thinks about them, we need to realize that our feelings and opinions have nothing to do with how God deals with our sin. No one gets away with sin. There is always a price tag on wickedness (Romans 6:23). In most of the verses talking about doing evil, God’s judgment and punishment on the people was not far behind. In many of the cases God allowed wars, famines, loss of freedom, and captivity to teach that there is always a price for doing wrong. No one gets away with sin! Payday is always someday!
What a chilling thought it would be to be remembered as doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.” If God were to write something to describe you right now, what would He write?
By doing right, according to God’s commands in His Word, one can have a completely different testimony. It does not have to be he “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” It could be the God-approved testimony of “… Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things …” Matthew 25:23.
“Sin’s wages = Death
God’s wages = Peace and everlasting life!”