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January 28 – Proverbs on violence

“The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice.” – Proverbs 21:7 

Scripture reading: Proverbs 1:10-19

There is no question that there are times when violence is necessary: in war, self-defense and just punishment. But like in the days of Solomon, we are often surrounded by violence, especially if we live in cities. Some make their living with violence and they plot and plan. Others use violence on the spur of the moment because they lack self-control. Either way, this type of violence is wrong and you have to learn how to deal with it. Solomon describes violence as a fruit that the wicked produce.

Why do men commit violence so much? Proverbs 29:10 says: “The bloodthirsty hate the blameless, But the upright seek his well-being.” No one is violent with the one he loves! Violence is rooted in hate!

You must avoid situations that cause or promote violence. If you have rowdy friends or visit a rowdy bar, for example, the potential for violence increases. Proverbs 24:1-2 tells us: “Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violence, and their lips talk of troublemaking.” Further, deal with the issue of contentment. You have your contentment in Jesus. Don’t envy. It is a common cause of violence. As Proverbs 3:30-31 says: “Do not strive with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm. Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways…”

So don’t be violent. Love your enemies. When violent people are around you, move. Have friends who encourage you in Christian living.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will hate and avoid violence and that you will love and promote peace and encourage justice on those who are violent.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

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