4 For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
with you, evil people are not welcome.
5 The arrogant cannot stand
in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
6 you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
you, LORD, detest.
Jesus said, “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.” (Luke 17:1-2)
There is wickedness and evil in this world. Sin is a reality. There are those who are arrogant, who lie, who have selfish ambition and pursue dishonest gain. The world needs a Savior! A Savior from what? Or more accurately, from Who? Romans 1 tells us that the wrath of God is coming against all of the ungodliness of the world. As the Psalmist wrote, God detests the sin of sinful people. We need a Savior from the wrath of God.
What’s crazy about the Good News is that the One we need saving from is the One who sends the Savior. His great love for us and His righteous judgment against sin are both demonstrated on the cross where Jesus died (Romans 5:8).
Jesus said that it is inevitable for people to stumble. Temptation and sin are to prevalent in this world. If this wasn’t the case… if there was the chance that a person could live stain free in this world, Jesus would not have come to be the Savior of the world. But He did come. Temptation comes, but woe to you, Jesus says, if it comes through you! If you are the reason another person stumbles and falls and sins against God, look out! There is trouble for you because of what God detests. “So watch yourselves!”
What’s required is for us to live with other people in mind. To be a servant and conscientious of the needs and weaknesses of those around us. We need to look beyond ourselves and discern the spiritual needs of others. Then not only are we not causing them to stumble, but we are a source of spiritual strength in their lives. This is what Jesus did! If I am going to wear His Name and follow Him, this is what I will be doing as well.
It’s a battle against the tide. It does not come easily or naturally… but it does come supernaturally! The One who is in me is greater than the one who is in the world! (1 John 4) As we do then we’ll sing with the Psalmist (Ps 5:11-12):
But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.