Done what is evil8.  Done what is evil

“. . . and done what is evil in your sight . . .”      – Psalm 51:4b

The psalm continues its litany of David’s sinfulness, and our own.  This phrase relates closely to the scene where the prophet Nathan confronts David and in a thundering speech says:

Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”  .. .  Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.     (2 Samuel 12:7-9)

Two aspects of today’s verse bear considering.  The first is the naming by the psalmist of their sin — “done what is evil.”  The evil wasn’t just contemplated;  it wasn’t mused upon;  it wasn’t simply considered.  It was done.

But secondly, the action that was taken was evil in your sight, in God’s sight.  And that is just a reminder that we are not the arbiters of good and evil.  We may at times make mental accommodations for what we do.  We may rationalize that something is acceptable given the circumstances.   But how does it look in God’s eyes?

In his letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul offers a few words about evil and his prescription for the way we ought to live out the gospel.   Let that be our prayer for this 8th day of Lent.

Prayer from Romans 12:9-18

Let love be genuine;

hate what is evil,

hold fast to what is good;

love one another with mutual affection;

outdo one another in showing honor.

Do not lag in zeal,

be ardent in spirit,

serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope,

be patient in suffering,

persevere in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints;

extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice,

weep with those who weep.

Live in harmony with one another;

do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;

do not claim to be wiser than you are.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil,

but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.

If it is possible, so far as it depends on you,                                                                                                                     live peaceably with all.