Thursday, 14 October 2021

Green With Envy

 Scripture: Mark 15 v 9 - 10: "But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?  For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy."

Exodus 20 v 17 - 18: "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.  And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off."

Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners i.e. everyone of us.  He had a following in Israel that threatened the delicate balance of the Jewish priesthood, the Pharisees, with the Roman occupiers who had conquered the Holy Land.  

Those who followed Jesus, called Him the Messiah, the Saviour of the Jews.  They expected Him to lead them against Pilate and Caesar to free their land from the Romans.  The Jewish priests were afraid that all they had carefully preserved would be overthrown and the Jews would lose everything.

Jesus had spoken to the crowd at the Temple saying that it would be destroyed.  He then linked it to Himself, prophesying that the temple of His body would be raised back to life in 3 days.  The priests got this all muddled and saw Jesus as a direct threat to their Temple.  They envied Him and hated him and feared His power.  They conspired to have Him crucified to save their religion. Envy killed Jesus.  

Within 40 years of His death and resurrection, in AD70, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Roman general, Titus, and a handful of Jews escaped and scattered into the world.

One of the 10 Commandments is that we must not covet.  To covet means to envy and desire to have the person, place or object which belongs to someone else.  When this grows into an obsession all hell breaks loose.  Our imagination becomes inflamed with every justification that the object of our desire is rightfully ours.

We become stalkers, hunting our prey until we possess it.  Sometimes we kill to have it.  Adulterous affairs start when we covet our neighbour's spouse and entice that spouse into sin that leads to broken homes, broken hearts, broken lives, all so our lustful envy can be satisfied.  As James says when lust is satisfied it brings forth death.

Lust starts with envy creating desire.  Lust cannot wait.  It demands to be met now.  No matter who suffers for it, lust controls and destroys.  It is a raging demon that can only be controlled when you are submitted to Jesus Christ and receive prayer and ministry to set you free.  Lust covers many things - sex, money, power, authority, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, cars, houses, jobs, food, etc.  Then it is called addiction.

Envy and lust are completely selfish.  To accomplish your desire you only consider your own feelings in the matter.  You assume that everyone accepts your parameters and when you pass the point of no return you can become ruthless, violent or deadly.

It's like the recent rampage experienced in South Africa, in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng.  The looting of Malls, burning of them down and the murder of hundreds of people, was attributed to rage concerning the imprisonment of a former president.

The situation is now viewed as an insurrection,  anarchy and lawlessness.  It was driven by the envy of those who cannot afford the luxury goods, TVs, furniture, fridges, washing machines, which were loaded into vans and trucks, as shown over national television. 

In all 161 malls were destroyed, plus hundreds of other businesses, and those who once worked in them have lost their jobs plus have to travel far distances to buy groceries.  Crime does not pay......those who cannot show a till slip for new items in their homes have been arrested.

Jealousy and suspicion are linked to envy and cause many marriages or relationships to fall apart.  We need to reign in our fertile imagination through having a personal relationship with Jesus and trusting Him to watch over our loved ones.  If the looters were submitted to Him, He would help them live better lives without resorting to anarchy.

This world is reeling from millions of migrants, striking workers, protesting students, all filled with envy, jealousy and lustful demands.  They all want something for nothing and will destroy places and people to get their own selfish way.  Where will these souls stand on the Day of Judgment?  Will any of them find their names written in the Lamb's Book of Life?  Will any be saved?

For this is the ultimate goal of the human race.  To make it home to Heaven!  All else is vanity, lust, envy, competition, love of money, houses, religion, travel, fun and games.  Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life and no one makes it to the Father except through Me.  If you think He is  a liar take your chances on the roulette wheel of life.  Eternity is forever so find out quickly what your options are.

Prayer: Heavenly Father You so loved the sinners of this world that You sent Your precious Son, Jesus, into this evil world controlled by Satan and his envy of You.  He came to save every one who would believe in Him, and follow Him home to You to enjoy the eternity of heavenly love and peace.  
You know what awaits those who neglect this salvation and You have done everything possible to make it easy for us to love Jesus and hate sin.  I pray for every human being to know and understand what this means. In Jesus' name. Amen.