Isaiah 7:14,15 Therefore the Lord himself will give youa sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will eat curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right.
How do we know what is right or wrong? What is good and what is evil? What is our basis for identifying such things? Such determinations don’t happen by accident or just come about naturally. They require us to learn Scripture and learn to respond to the working of the Holy Spirit within us. We become enabled to recognize and discern the truth no matter how convoluted the circumstances.
The world has its own idea about what is good and evil or what is right and wrong. Are there circumstances that make it appropriate to lie? How about situational ethics? Sometimes it seems that the biggest evil to the world is Christians making any kind of judgment that something is evil or wrong. We can become so accustomed to the world’s lies that we adopt behaviors that declare the Truth to be the forgery. Isaiah addressed this problem when he wrote:
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isaiah 5:20)
Some things are so blatantly evil that you can’t miss them. But that isn’t the general way the enemy of our soul attacks us. He tries to blur the lines and induce Christians to walk in pathways that lead to temptation – that present unrighteousness in attractive packaging. Just think of much of the commercial advertising and TV programming we are exposed to. We become familiar with pathways that have his ‘forgeries’ presented as the norms of ‘good’ behavior. His goal is to have us reach a point where we affirm the forgeries and reject the ‘original’. Or where we succumb to societal pressures and tolerate his redefined ‘acceptable’ behaviors in our lives.
If we persist in the path of accurately identifying evil as evil and good as good, the enemy of our souls will try to move us to becoming overtly judgmental of others. That can produce a prideful blindness that is repugnant to God. Remember the Pharisees were so concerned with sin they missed Jesus. But doing this the right way is our destiny and is included in learning to reject the wrong and choose the right. God is our enabler.
The Scriptures are our standard. They identify that ‘good and evil’ apply to behaviors, thoughts, attitudes – every area of our lives. God wants us to walk in righteousness and it is imperative that we learn from Scripture what it is and isn’t, and His requirement to do it the right way. We must recognize that with the Holy Spirit we can accurately reject the wrong and choose the right but it requires focus, intentionality and learning. He expects no less of us.