Here is a rhetorical question. What happens when we look the other way as a wrongful act or crime is being committed? Faced with these situations, self-preservation may take priority over any other options before us. Is that what is happening among believers today? Individuals and groups are constantly seeking the support of believers and are quick to offer words of “comfort” to gain our loyalty. As the old saying goes, action speaks louder than words!
What happens when the true motives of those we support are revealed and their true nature brought to light? Do we withdraw our loyalties and support so that we may hold to righteousness? The book of Proverbs instructs us on how to preserve righteousness, justice, truth, and how to walk in the ways of God. If we live by these words of wisdom, we will remain accountable to God and hold those around us accountable also. Disobedience to God is open rebellion; at the root of rebellion is pride, and pride is very closely tied to self-preservation.
Today, many in the believing community are giving way before the wicked, especially when they promise to stand up for the church. We fail to realize that doing so is more a reflection on us than on those we give way to. Proverbs 25:26 describes such a person as “a muddied spring or a polluted well”. Can we stand before a righteous Judge in such a condition?
Remove the wicked from the king’s presence,Proverbs 25:5
and his throne will rest firmly on righteousness.
To abandon wisdom in pursuit of our own desires may bring about temporary satisfaction but lead to eternal agony. Scripture tells us that “He who pursues righteousness and kindness finds life, prosperity and honor” (Proverbs 21:21) but “He who sows injustice reaps trouble” (Proverbs 22:8). So why would we continue to support and defend those who do the latter? This too is a reflection of our heart and a form of rebellion aimed at self-preservation.
Wisdom also tells us that “a person’s ways are right in his own view, but Adonai weighs the heart” (Proverbs 21:2). Obedience to God may require us to put aside comfort and convenience but “to do what is right and just is more pleasing to Adonia that sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3). This is why it is good for us to be in a community of faithful believers — those who set their hearts to act justly and remain obedient to God, even and especially when it is not convenient. Such a community of believers will not only encourage us but will also be used by God to comfort us and stand with us in our time of need. Remember, “the fear of Adonai leads to life; one who has it is satisfied and rests untouched by evil” (Proverbs 19:23).