The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
As anyone who reads the Bible knows, God’s word is not only a testimony of his awesome power, it is also a real account of just how evil we as people can be. Here are 10 of the most shocking stories that are recorded to show just how much we need Jesus and to warn us of how low we are capable of stooping if we aren’t careful:
10. Angry Jewish leaders stone Stephen to death (Acts 7). Truly one of the saddest accounts, it tells about a Christian who was just minding his own business carrying out the ministry God gave him. That wasn’t good enough for some religious folks who were jealous of him and hated him and the message God told him to preach, so they put him through an unfair trial to summarily convict and execute him. This is a poignant lesson that if you tell the truth, there are many people who don’t want to hear it and will do everything possible to either make your life miserable or try to end it. Just look at what goes on here in the U.S. or around the world and you can see how this continues even today. Whistleblowers, those who try to preserve life, and those who speak out for treating everyone fairly no matter what their race, religion, or gender are still ostracized, persecuted, or sometimes murdered.
9. Seven sons of Sceva get their butts kicked by a possessed man (Acts 19). You know they got a serious whoopin’ if the guy beat them so bad they all ran away naked. We can learn at least two things from this incident. The first being that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is sacred so don’t take it lightly and the second is that those who don’t really know Jesus do not have access to the power that is in his name. These evil spirits still roam the earth today looking for people to inhabit and should be taken seriously.
8. Religious people in a Nazareth synagogue try to throw Jesus over the edge of a hill (Luke 4). Of course, those who are convinced that they are basically good don’t want to hear how sinful they really are, which is what Christ was pointing out to them. They were a proud people who assumed that their cultural and religious heritage meant an automatic ticket to receive all of God’s blessings, including heaven. Isn’t this the same way so many of us here in America act and think? If they were raised in a Christian home or in a country they think is “Christian”, they believe they can ride the coattails of their relatives or the founding fathers right on into the pearly gates, praise God. Jesus had to tell his fellow Nazarites their hearts weren’t right with God. They considered his message sacrilege and thought this gave them the right to get rid of him permanently.
7. The sons of the high priest Eli had sex with women who came to worship at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2). If you thought Catholic priests started this trend, you’re wrong. Hophni and Phinehas were actually married at the time and were priests who helped their father with his priestly duties, but disregarded the importance of anything sacred whether it was the sacrifices brought to the tabernacle, the women who brought the sacrifices, or marriage. We see this same trend in a large number of churches today. Eventually, judgment day came for Eli and his sons. God gave them time to repent, but they refused and it cost them their lives. “…be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)
6. David’s son Amnon rapes his half-sister, Tamar. What a tragedy this incident was! It set off a chain of events that ruined so many people’s lives. Amnon should have received severe punishment for his actions that ruined Tamar’s life. David chose to do nothing about it. This angered Tamar’s brother, Absalom, who eventually murdered Amnon when he realized his father wouldn’t defend his sister’s honor. Absalom ended up fleeing for several years and when he returned, his father did not show him the love he longed for, resulting in Absalom’s resentment of his father, his attempt to steal the kingdom from his father, and his untimely death at the hands of treacherous Joab. What a lesson this is to highlight the importance of godly discipline, forgiveness, and unconditional love that should take place within families to avoid unnecessary hurts.
5. David commits adultery with Bathsheba and orders her husband to be murdered. Even strong, reliable leaders have a tendency to make bad judgments. This is why it is so important not to put too much trust in any man, no matter who they are.
4. Jephtha makes a vow that causes suffering for his daughter. I covered this at length in another post, so I won’t go into detail here.
3. The men of Gibeah brutally rape a man’s concubine (Judges 19). The young man and his concubine were on their way home to Mt. Ephraim but had to stop in Gibeah because it got dark. It was customary to take in a fellow countryman if they needed lodging at night, but the people of Gibeah were not very hospitable. Finally an old man came along to lodge them for the night. Then the men of the city got together and beat on the old man’s door later that night, requesting that he send out the young man so they could rape him. They only stopped harassing the old man when the concubine was shoved out of the house to be brutalized and murdered by them. It took awhile, but eventually these wicked men got what was coming to them after the young man appealed to all of Israel for justice.
2. Lot’s daughters get him drunk to have sex with him. Although these young ladies knew of the faith of their great uncle Abraham, they obviously were influenced by all of the ungodliness in their midst at Sodom where they lived. Their lack of faith in God led them to believe all hope was gone of them finding suitable husbands to replace the ones they lost in God’s judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. They drew the conclusion that the only way for them to have children was to be impregnated by their own father. How disgusting! This story is a lesson on waiting for God to replace what needs replacing in your life, if you’ve lost it or just waiting for him to provide what you need by not leaning to your own understanding.
1. Sodom and Gomorrah’s unbridled lust. These perverted men had seared their consciences and were so consumed by their own lust for the two angels, they threatened to rape Lot in addition to the two angels if he didn’t move out of their way. It’s the type of lust that says, “I’m going to do whatever I can, including using others to make me feel good, even if it ends up hurting them or me.” Even after the angels struck them with blindness, the evil men of Sodom were still trying to get to them. What is to be learned from this? The evil men of Gibeah mentioned at no. 3 and the men of Sodom are what can happen when a society decides not to legislate morality. When a society caves in to the demands of wicked people, wicked people only make more demands and society suffers moral decay where more people’s lives are put in jeopardy. It has been estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually molested. If we give in to the demands of sexual perverts for their so-called rights, that number will only go higher and more than just kids will be negatively affected.
It’s interesting that people haven’t changed much in the hundreds or thousands of years since these stories were recorded. Mankind is just as wicked now as we were then. The only things that have changed about us is that we’ve come up with newer ways to promote and carry out our wickedness. But it makes me even more thankful for the Lord Jesus Christ since he will one day annihilate all evil and bring about true peace to overtake the earth.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–