The story of Noah is a powerful one of God’s strength, justice, mercy, and restraint. God is able to create and destroy all things. He is able to provide both justice and mercy. And because He loves us he shows mercy through it all. When God destroyed the earth He did it to cleanse the earth of the evil that had infested it. But man’s sinful nature still exists as shown in the example of Noah’s drunkenness and his youngest son’s sin. Evil will always exist in this world, but so will God’s judgement and mercy. We must all strive for righteousness and know that God has justice and mercy covered.
The story of Cain and Abel is ultimately the story of every sinful act of our individual lives. If we cannot master the control of sin in our lives, it will ultimately control us. Prior to Cain’s murder of his brother, God says to him in Genesis 4:7, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” The same is true for every single sinful act and desire in our lives. Just as we must choose to turn from sin, we must also choose to turn to God and the righteousness He desires for each of us.
In today’s passage, Paul references the relationship between a slave and master. While no one wants to think of this type of relationship, the interaction and expected behavior translates well to that a boss/leader and their employees. In Ephesians 6:6 Paul’s instruction to the slave works just as well to an employee, Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. It is less about showing your boss what you are doing right, and more about doing what is right in all circumstances because it shows obedience to Christ. Paul goes onto to talk to Masters and how they are to treat their slaves. Again, this translates well to bosses/leaders. At the end of Ephesians 6:10 Paul reminds them that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. There is not difference in God’s eyes between a master and slave. We are all subordinate to Christ and are all expected to be a reflection of Him.
When we have repented and turned our way from evil, wisdom should tell us to walk away from temptation that can lead us back into sin. Psalm 125:3 says, The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. Once we have entered into righteousness, let us be smart enough to stay away from the triggers reminding us of our sin and the things that could lead us back into sin. We should be diligent to ask God for his protection from temptation and the strength to stay away. Let us fill out time, hearts, and desire with the things that please God and have an impact on the eternal.
Especially in the darkest night light shines the brightest. Psalm 112:4 says, Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. If we concentrate on being a light in this world, it doesn’t matter how dark the world is around us because our light will shine through. Being a light has its challenges, but if we are to be labeled gracious, compassionate, and righteous, then our ability to be a light that shines through really matters.
Psalm 72 was written by Solomon as a prayer to God to help his son prepare as the heir of the king’s thrown. In Psalm 72:1 Solomon begins with, Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. This verse is not just applicable to a royal leader, but to all of us. May God give us all the righteous needed to be used by Him for justice in His perfect plan. This is especially true for our leaders. Let us never forget to pray for the righteous of our leaders.
God does not need us or anyone in this world to declare Him king. His authority is eternal with no beginning and no end. Psalm 50:6 says, And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge. God’s righteousness is declared from above. We can accept it and be a part of His grace and mercy, or we can reject it and miss out.
In Psalm 15, David asks God in the first verse “Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?” The rest of the Psalm goes through a list including Walking blamelessly, do what is righteous, Speak truth, do your neighbor no wrong, do not speak badly of your fellowman, despise what is vile, honor those who fear the Lord, keep your oath even when it hurts you, lend money without interest, and do not accept bribes. In the last part of the final verse in Psalm 15:5 David confirms, He who does these things will never be shaken.
If we want to be wise, we must not allow ourselves to be influenced by the unwise. The same thing goes for righteousness; if we want to be righteous, then we must avoid being influenced by those who do not see anything wrong with the sin in their lives. The very first verse in book of Psalm says: (Psalm 1:1) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. Blessed are those of us who can avoid the influence of people who do not add value to our spiritual lives, which in turn affect our lives as a whole.
It is hard to recover from unrighteousness. Proverbs 25:26 says, Like a muddied spring or polluted well is a righteous man who gives way to the wicked. Once you give into evil, it is hard to clear your life from its affects. But through grace and mercy, Christ can cleanse us and bring us back to righteousness.