Day 11: Malicious Intent

                Yesterday we talked about how leaders and those who follow them won’t get away with false teaching and beliefs. Psalm 101:7 “No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” This also applies to those who are malicious. Malicious means “having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone.” Usually someone who is malicious, like these false leaders, are narcissistic / self-centered. Next Sunday we will be talking about the arrogance of our enemies. Their arrogance is usually what does them in. Since everything revolves around these people or so they think, they will do and say anything to keep it that way. You would think that Christians wouldn't fall into this category but they do and actually the bible is very clear on this matter.
                First of all it is important to know we live in the midst of deception. This is easy to see since falseness has infiltrated the church. The church has followed their own ways. Jeremiah 9:6 “You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me, declares the Lord.” This deception is everywhere and these malicious people are tools that satan uses to do his work. They are used because the refuse to obey. Jesus describes these malicious people when talking with the Jews. John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” We do not want to be on that side, as Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil.
                Proverbs gives us a picture of the malicious man. Proverbs 26:24 “Enemies (Other versions say instead of enemy “those who hate”) disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. 26 Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” These people will disguise themselves with their lips. Their words may be smooth but in the end they will be found out. Here are a few verses talking about the lips. Psalm 12:2 “Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.” Psalm 31:18 “Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.” Psalm 59:7 “See what they spew from their mouths— the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, “Who can hear us?” Proverbs 5:3 “For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. 5 Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. 6 She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it.” Proverbs 12:19 “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” Proverbs 14:7 “Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips.” Proverbs 17:4 “A wicked person listens to deceitful lips; a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.” Isaiah 29:13 “The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” So as these verses portray, these are the kind of people I am referring to. They may sound good on the surface but their hearts are full of deceit and they go to great extent to cover their deception with their words.
                Then we see that these people filled with malice have seven abominations that fill their hearts. This describes what they do how they operate. We see these described in Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable / abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” As you read these seven abominations, you can see this in people who are only out for themselves. This is in direct conflict with the life of a Christian yet many fit this description. The definition of haughty is “arrogantly superior and disdainful, full of pride and better than everyone else” This is not the description of humility before God. These people of malice have no problem stirring up conflict with their lies. Usually there is very little fact in their wicked schemes but just enough so that people fall for their lies.  You have to listen and discern very carefully to these people so that you do not participate in their schemes. Remember that satan is so arrogant he will tell you what the problem is. Ezekiel 28:17 “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” Isaiah 14:12 “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” 15 But you are brought down to the realm of the dead, to the depths of the pit.” Psalm 119:150 “Those who devise wicked schemes are near, but they are far from your law.” We have to be aware of these schemes. Paul said in Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” 2 Corinthians 2:11 “For we are not unaware of his schemes.” We have to be very aware of how satan works and the people he uses to do his work.
                We also have those who mock. Just as Jesus, Job, and David were mocked, those filled with malice will mock you also. Proverbs 21:24 “The proud and arrogant person—“Mocker” is his name— behaves with insolent fury.” 2 Chronicles 36:16 “But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against his people and there was no remedy.” Job 17:2 “Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility.” Job 30:1 “But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.” Psalm 22:7 “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads.” Psalm 89:50 “Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations.” Psalm 119:51 “The arrogant mock me unmercifully, but I do not turn from your law.” Matthew 27:29 “then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said.” Matthew 27:31 “After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.”
                We also see others who maliciously wink the eye. These are people who go after others. Psalm 35:11 “Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about. 12 They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved. 13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, 14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. 15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. 17 How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. 18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you. 19 Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.” ” Proverbs 6:12 “A troublemaker and a villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13 who winks maliciously with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart—he always stirs up conflict. 15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.” Proverbs 10:10 “Whoever winks maliciously causes grief, and a chattering fool comes to ruin.”
                The good news is they will be exposed and not get away with it. Everyone will know of their folly in the end. Psalm 21:11 “Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.” Isaiah 10:12 “When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes.” Psalm 101:5 “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.” Proverbs 26:26 “Their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Psalm 35:22 goes on to say “Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. 23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.” 26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace. 27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.” 28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises all day long. So we pray Psalm 144:7 “Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners 8 whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.” Psalm 120:2 “Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.” Psalm 12:3 “May the Lord silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue.” Isaiah 29:20 “The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down.”
                Paul gives us this directive in Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Ephesians 4:11 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
                God will reward the faithful and the schemers will not get away with their lies. Isaiah 61:8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” Proverbs 19:5 “A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.” Psalm 64:8 “He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. 9 All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done.” Psalm 27:11 “Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations. 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”