Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mark 7:17-23 commentary: the evil from inside

17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. 18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? 20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Our imaginations are vile and wicked things and we present all manner of violence and pornography from the depths of our unrighteous fantasies.

2Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

God will destroy all the images that we use to stir up our evil minds.

Isaiah 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, 14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, 15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, 16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

He has already commanded that certain pictures be destroyed back at the time the Hebrews were to enter the promised land.

Numbers 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

And pictures led Israel into idolatry.

Ezekiel 23:14 And that she increased her whoredoms: for when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion,

One note about foolishness in verse 22 is that the Bible definition differs from our current understanding because we have departed from the Bible.

Foolish people are unwise.

Deuteronomy 32:6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?

A foolish man is a silly man.

Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.

A foolish person works iniquity.

Psalm 5:5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

Foolish people are wicked and they often prosper from our human estimation and not by God’s standard.

Psalm 73:3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

Covetousness is listed in some bad company isn’t it? So, the TV commercials and the billboards are encouraging you to sin, are they not? Covetousness is wanting things you don’t have.

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

The American way of life is idolatry, no less than the sin of the ancient Israelites in their worship of idols that cost them their homeland.

Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

When you sit there hungering after the image on the TV and thinking of how you can borrow the money on your credit card to pay for it so it can replace the one you have now you are engaging in idolatry. Common sense tells you this isn’t about the necessities of life but rather more so the I-wants.

What is an evil eye, you wonder? Proverbs defines it.

Proverbs 28:22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

You like those get-rich-quick schemes? Those plans to make that fortune quickly and live like a king? Read Matthew 6:19-24. There is something wicked in the way that the person with the evil eye sees things. Read the parable of the householder in Matthew 20:1-16. Then read Luke 11:29-36 as Jesus upbraids people for their unbelief.

In the Proverb and in the verses in the Gospels a single eye is healthy and whole while an evil eye is sick and imperfect, worldly and focusing on the wrong things. Our Creator, God, has made us for His pleasure (Revelation 4:11). He wants us to see things His way voluntarily (Isaiah 1:18.) The warning here is that the person who views wealth in the wrong way, who wants to get rich quick, will eventually be destined to poverty. Now, this verse was certainly written under the Law given to Moses but the principle definitely applies to us living under Grace.

The way you look at things, your viewpoint, determines usually how you live and what you hold valuable. There are tons of get rich quick schemes out there that people try to get you hooked into. Rarely does either a business or a career yield quick riches. If it does it usually ends up in ruin. Many people who have won great lottery fortunes have wound up filing for bankruptcy. We have a hard time with wealth suddenly acquired. Look at the stories of athletes from poor backgrounds who can’t handle the money they make and wind up in prison or ruined.

An evil eye wants to get rich quick without working hard and appreciating his effort and God’s blessing on that effort. An evil eye and covetousness are in some pretty bad company.

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