PROVERBS 25:26 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (Dec 19-26)
The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:
“Like a trampled spring and a polluted well Is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.” (Proverbs 25:26)
In order to make the innocent a prey, righteous people must be compromised, because they will intervene out of love for the intended victims. Christians must be neutralized or they will try to stop the evil from preying on the innocent. A compromised person pollutes the stability and justice of a society, overthrowing it. In light of this, satan arrays a massive campaign of bribes and threats to compromise and subdue the righteous from taking a stand against evil and wickedness in their communities. Satan makes progress in his war against God's will by getting people to compromise themselves through "incentives" to collude with him by turning the blind eye of apathy to the harm his servants are doing or even partake in it.
It may be little compromises at first - even cloaked in "love" or "tolerance," but it is all part of a campaign to break down the protections of the innocent. First, you may be encouraged by your friend, boss, your government to do something you know is wrong, or not do something you know is right. Perhaps you are to lie in a small way, cheat, or steal - whatever it is, you are to "cover" for evil or do evil yourself. And if you do what they ask, you are rewarded by favor - maybe they "owe" you, or maybe you get a promotion, perks, or protection. If you don't collude, your career may stall and you may be ignored until they are strong enough to resort to threats. You could be threatened to be fired or imprisoned. If you continue to stand up, they will seek ways to silence and destroy you.
The Scriptures speak a great deal about bribes, which are incentives to collude. Temptation is akin to a bribe. It is an incentive to switch loyalties (even in "small" things) by rebelling against God's Word for the will of the flesh. Satan gets you to rebel against God and you get what you think you want. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, satan attempted to bribe Jesus, promising that if Jesus just rebelled against God's plan and switched loyalties, he'd give Jesus all the Kingdoms of the world. This is how satan uses temptation in his war against God's plan. And if bribes and temptations fail to pollute you and make you useless to the innocent, threats are not far behind. Let's look at what God's Word says about giving way before wickedness.
May we stand up to evil in our communities, and not give way in the face of bribes or threats to do what we know is right by the Word of God. Even so, Amen.
Other verses to consider:
BRIBES AND TEMPTATION
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”’ Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, “He will command His angels concerning You”; and “On their hands they will bear You up, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.”’ Jesus said to him, ‘On the other hand, it is written, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Go, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”’ Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him” (Matthew 4:1-11).
“You shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of the just” (Exodus 23:8).
“A bribe is a charm in the sight of its owner; Wherever he turns, he prospers” (Proverbs 17:8).
“The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it” (Proverbs 29:4).
“For oppression makes a wise man mad, And a bribe corrupts the heart” Ecclesiastes 7:7).
“Your rulers are rebels And companions of thieves; Everyone loves a bribe And chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, Nor does the widow’s plea come before them” (Isaiah 1:23).
“Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!” (Isaiah 5:23).
“Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling has seized the godless. ‘Who among us can live with the consuming fire? Who among us can live with continual burning?’ He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil” (Isaiah 33:14-16).
“So you shall observe to do just as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32).
“His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice” (1 Samuel 8:3).
“Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one” (Psalm 53:3).
“We have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances” (Daniel 9:5).
“‘But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:8).
“The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left” (Isaiah 24:4-6).
“‘For both prophet and priest are polluted; Even in My house I have found their wickedness,’ declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:11).
THREATS AND INTIMIDATION
“Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:13-15).
“And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence” (Acts 4:29).
“When they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which to punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened” (Acts 4:21).
“When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’ But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:27-29).