“An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11).TEXT — Proverbs 17:1-14
Jim Jones was an American cult leader with a vision of what was described as an “integrated congregation”. He founded the Peoples Temple, a quasi-Christian commune in Jonestown, Guyana, where he often told his followers that they would all die and live happily together hereafter. In November 1978, fearing government attack on the settlement after its members had killed an American congressman, Jones ordered a mass murder-suicide. 909 died, including 304 children. Jones shot himself dead.
Jim Jones was such an evil man, “who seeketh only rebellion” and the “cruel messenger” of death was sent to him. We have the list of such men in our reading today: those who mock the poor, the wicked liar given to pride, unforgiving friends, fools, companions of those who reject wisdom, as well as contentious people. They are contrasted with the godly who are quiet and meek servants, disciples enriched with “excellent speech”, who have acknowledged and forsaken their sins.
The book of Proverbs is given to us to learn how to order our ways, not according to what pleases us but as it pleases the Creator. Jim Jones’ path seemed perfect to him; but it was perilous, plunging him and several hundreds to untimely deaths and eternal perdition.
In the age closer than ever to the return of Jesus Christ, there will be intense teaching of false religion intended to deceive the credulous. Only the inerrant word of God can subdue them, guide and steer a person away from evil and destructive doctrines. Heaven-seeking believers must put in every effort to check the surge of fake religionists and prophets.
Thought for the day
The only antedote to falsehood is Scripture rightly applied and widely proclaimed.
- in one year
- JUDGES 18 – 21