Mass killings are becoming almost a weekly occurrence in America; terrorist acts seem to be on the rise. Why? Evil doing increases proportional to God’s removal of His restraining grace. What else should we expect as our country turns its back on God? Did not our President announce to the world that we are no longer a Christian nation? The result? We are witnessing man’s depravity – but only now – with less of God’s placation.
His abandoning restraint is also evident in manifestly confusing national policies; if it weren’t for this indication of God’s abandonment, one would conclude that America would have actual border enforcement. But illogically we don’t – and the lack thereof means evildoers can infiltrate our country.
Specifically, what follows is a study that zeroes in on the characteristics of evildoers – how to spot terrorists, hopefully before they deal in their craft. The Bible has much to say in terms of identifying them; here are some ways to protect yourself, your family and our nation. My friend, don’t think this is esoteric: as God’s hand of restraint lessens all around us, it follows that you and I must increase our personal watchfulness.
By definition, terrorists are people who intentionally harm others for the purpose of causing terror. Proverbs 24:19 describes such people, terming them as evildoers raa meaning “bad.” Isaiah 31:2 describes them as the workers of iniquity aven meaning “trouble, sorrow.” I will use these terms interchangeably in the study that follows.
The best defense any nation possesses to fight terrorists, evildoers, and the workers of iniquity is the discerning abilities of its citizens and political leaders. In terms of leaders, according to 1Peter 2:14, one of the reasons God has ordained the institution of Government is specifically for the punishment of evildoers kakopoios. All citizens and leaders need to have the ability to spot and detect terrorists before they carry out their evil schemes. To that end this study becomes very important. Think of this as a Bible study on TST: Terrorist Sensitivity Training.
The destruction of the World Trade Centers is well over a decade old now, but America has experienced many recent, tragic displays of cowardly behavior by its own citizens. The ability to identify these types of individuals, and a working knowledge of how one should react to the workers of iniquity in general is a mark of wisdom. Gone is the day of being passive about these things.
Study carefully all that Solomon has to say about terrorists, not only foreign bandits, but those in your own city, even your own circle of friends. Terrorism, and the discernment of evildoers, are subjects that occur frequently in the Book of Proverbs, as a political leader is preparing his son to run the country. TST then is a matter of spiritual wisdom (wisdom is “the skill of living life to God’s glory”). I have organized all – exhausted all the passages– that the Book of Proverbs has to say on this subject. They line out underneath the following four Roman numeral headers:
II. THE DESCRIPTION OF TERRORISTS
Here are the biblical descriptors that will help each of us identity evildoers within the world in which they and we live.
LEARN TO HAVE YOUR RADAR TUNED IN TO THE FOLLOWING TWELVE SIGNALS THAT EVILDOERS TRANSMIT
A. THEIR SPEECH IS PERVERSE
Proverbs 2:12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things;
Proverbs 6:12 A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth,
Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them.
Notice the idea of caution that Solomon is conveying to his son, Rehoboam, who will be the next King of Israel: it is wise to be far from them in order to guard yourself. As a political leader be watchful of those who unabashedly hurl perverse speech your way.
B. THEY ARE SECRETIVE AND CLANDESTINE
Proverbs 2:13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness;
Proverbs 6:13 Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers;
The aforementioned characteristics – notice the use of body language by evildoers – all stand in contrast to transparency. Whereas transparency builds trust, clandestine behavior builds, and should create in you, suspicion.
C. THEY ARE DEVIOUS
Proverbs 2:14-‐15 Who delight in doing evil, And rejoice in the perversity of evil; Whose paths are crooked, And who are devious in their ways;
Proverbs 4:16-‐17 For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.
Proverbs 6:14 Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, Who spreads strife.
Proverbs 24:2 For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble.
In a general sense, workers of iniquity are bent on deviousness luz “to turn aside.” That is to say they are bent on destruction, rather than construction; they are characterized by negativity and hatred, versus positivity and love.
D. THEY HAVE BAD REPUTATIONS
Proverbs 21:10 The soul of the wicked desires evil; His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
THE REPUTATION SOMEONE POSSESSES WITH HIS OR HER NEIGHBORS IS SIMILAR TO A CREDIT REPORT
E. THEY ARE ARROGANT
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, And the perverted mouth, I hate.
Proverbs 30:13 There is a kind-‐-‐oh how lofty are his eyes! And his eyelids are raised in arrogance.
Learn to be sensitive to and read facial expressions. Study a person as they speak (without staring at them!) Note the presence of raised eyelids. This Proverb instructs us that such is a telegraph into the inner soul of a person; raised eyelids are associated biblically with arrogance. Watch out especially when they are accompanied by a perverted mouth (point A).
F. THEY ARE RUTHLESS
Proverbs 11:16 A gracious woman attains honor, And ruthless men attain riches.
G. THEY ARE CALCULATING
Proverbs 23:6-‐8 (ESV) Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten, and waste your pleasant words.
This is the hypocritical person whose motives you can see through. He or she is really not generous; you know and sense they are playing you.
H. THEY MOCK AND SCHEME
Proverbs 24:8-‐9 One who plans to do evil, Men will call a schemer. The devising of folly is sin, And the scoffer is an abomination to men.
NOT EVERY MUSLIM IS A TERRORIST BUT EVERY INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST IN RECENT HISTORY HAS BEEN A MUSLIM
Let’s tell it like it is. The above sidebar combined with this:
IS IT NOT DETESTABLE THAT THE ISLAMIC CLERGY FAIL TO CONDEMN THE EVIL THEIR FELLOW MUSLIMS DO IN THE NAME OF ISLAM?
Together, these insights serve to inform the world about the Islamic religion itself! And any serious and objective student of the Koran understands this: The book instructs its adherents to advance Islam by the sword. This is not in question. This Proverb indicates that it is biblically correct for an up-and-coming political leader to think of schemers, those who devise folly, scoffers, as abominable toebah relative to their terrorist actions. Political leaders, says the Word of God, should manifest no leniency in this regard!
TERRORIST SENSITIVITY TRAINING (TST) IS NOT ACCOMPLISHED VIA POLITICAL CORRECTNESS
Pussyfooting around calling a spade a spade helps no one. In summary of the point, terrorists are identified by mocking and scheming (some points in my outline, I suppose, go without saying).
I. THEY ARE UNJUST
Proverbs 28:5 Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all things.
Workers of iniquity know nothing of the just war theory; their very form of combat, rooted in the cowardly exploitation of innocent blood via surprise attacks bespeaks of their evil nature. Given this history of Islamist terrorism, especially their use of explosives to kill and injure innocent civilians, it follows that there is no way America or Israel should tolerate uranium enrichment programs in any theocratic Muslim country. Given God’s counsel via the clear principled instruction of Proverbs, specifically that evil men do not understand justice:
IT IS SHEER LUNACY FOR AMERICA TO PERMIT IRAN TO GO AS FAR AS THEY HAVE IN THEIR NUCLEAR PROGRAM!
J. THEY DISRESPECT AUTHORITY
Proverbs 30:11 There is a kind of man who curses his father And does not bless his mother.
People who have no respect for their parents should be viewed with suspicion. (Those of us who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s remember the disrespect for authority that was the hallmark of that generation’s rebels. Some of those rebels have become responsible members of society; others, still in rebellion against our Judeo-Christian values, are in positions of power in the government today.)
K. THEY DEVOUR THE AFFLICTED AND THE NEEDY
Proverbs 30:14 There is a kind of man whose teeth are like swords And his jaw teeth like knives, To devour the afflicted from the earth And the needy from among men.
Terrorists are takers. They are like locusts that descend on a country and consume, giving nothing but poverty in return. Students of Islam realize that the Muslim religion desires world dominance. And any nation that stands in the way of their world conquest is considered a threat to their ultimate objective. To these political Islamists, Israel is “the Little Satan” and the United States is “the Great Satan.” The sword has always spread Islam, and those leaders intend to continue their armed conquest. Make no mistake: Allah is not Yahweh, and Mohammed never claimed he was the Messiah, nor that he would rise from the dead. Islam and its Koran are nothing more than a plagiarism of OT truths – and a non-chronological, sloppy one at that – topped off with a falsified diminution of Jesus Christ. Read it for yourself and you will know what I mean.
L. THEY ARE UNREGENERATE
Proverbs 30:12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
This Proverb is a fitting capsulation of Islamic terrorists and all workers of iniquity in a general sense.
These twelve biblical descriptors all serve to characterize terrorists, evildoers, and workers of iniquity. Most likely I’ve taught you nothing you didn’t already know, but perhaps now each of us can more accurately identify evildoers in our own spheres and respective levels of interaction and authority. Beyond wisely and astutely identifying them, how do you best handle them?
III. HOW TO HANDLE TERRORISTS
The passages I will cite to make the following four points somewhat overlap. Nonetheless, within them are these poignant principles to think about and act on in regards to handling such.
A. GUARD YOURSELF
Proverbs 22:5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards himself will be far from them.
This Proverb is not so much about physical proximity as it is being in the reach of their influence. Remain far from them in order to guard yourself. This leads into the following point:
B. AVOID THEIR INFLUENCE
Proverbs 24:19 Do not fret because of evildoers, Or be envious of the wicked;
This is a Proverb of opposition and contrast. Fret charah means “to burn or be kindled with anger.” We should never let ourselves get out-of-control angry regarding terrorists in our attempt to expunge them from the face of the earth. Nor on the other hand should we be envious, i.e. tempted or deceived by the wealth and power of a wicked person. Either way, we should be guarded and not influenced by their presence. Parallel to this Proverb and further explanatory, we must keep in mind Paul’s first admonition to the Church at Corinth (15:33), “Do not be deceived, bad company corrupts good morals.” A third consideration in handling terrorists is this:
C. AVOID THEM
Proverbs 1:10-‐16 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood.
Proverbs 4:14-‐15 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on.
Proverbs 24:1 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them;
The wise person not only guards his thoughts in reaction to evildoers, he avoids their physical presence. In addition he exposes them. Note what Paul states about this in Ephesians:
D. EXPOSE THEM
Ephesians 5:11-‐12; 15 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret…Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise…
Apart from nationally known terrorist groups and worldwide terrorist activities, each of us encounters evildoers every day. This is an important distinction to make, lest this lesson be perceived as “far out and unrelated to me” i.e. esoteric.
Your ability to effectively respond to the workers of iniquity, per these principles from Proverbs, is indicative of your spiritual maturity. Keep in mind that envy of the wicked is real. The sinful inclination for power especially inside the Beltway (aka Potomac fever), makes all of us susceptible to those who offer power.
Further then, how do we protect ourselves in a more spiritual sense from these kinds of people?
Fortunately, God has given us guidelines…
IV. HOW TO SPIRITUALLY PROTECT YOURSELF FROM TERRORISTS
The aforementioned passages on handling terrorists did not touch on the heart issues involved here. What follows are two spiritual principles that Solomon conveyed to Rehoboam the up and coming political leader of Israel. These principles too, will serve you in defending yourself from evildoers.
A. POSSESS A HEALTHY FEAR OF GOD
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
A wonderful benefit of trusting in God is the protection He affords His children – those who fear, or believe on Him for their salvation, are indwelled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Study the Scriptures daily in order to build your spiritual muscles – and maintain a healthy view of God’s omnipotence!
B. TRUST IN GOD’S SUPERNATURAL PROTECTION
Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.
Remember the parallel truth of Romans 12:19. Herein is the mark of great spiritual maturity: “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,’ says the Lord.” When one fears God, meaning he or she has accepted His Son as his or her Savior and Lord, there is an unearthly protection and peace that God places over the respective soul. Philippians 4:7 says in this regard, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Further on this note 2Thessalonians 3:3, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” Amen!
V. WHAT RESULTS IN THE LIFE OF A TERRORIST?
This study would not be complete without examining what Scripture says is the end result of the workers of iniquity. God gives them what they deserve:
A. THEY BECOME REPROBATE
Proverbs 4:19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.
This Proverb is akin to the truths of Romans, chapter one, verses 18-32. Note especially the description of reprobate evildoers in verses 28-32…
And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Merriam and Webster define a reprobate as one who is “depraved, vicious, or unprincipled.” It is an apt descriptor of someone of and for whom God is no longer supplying restraining grace. Their conscience is cauterized and dysfunctional.
B. THEY ARE SELF-DESTROYING
Proverbs 1:18-‐19 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors.
Proverbs 5:21-‐23 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths. His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.
Cords as used here by Solomon refer to the cords of bondage. In communicating these great truths about evildoers to his son Rehoboam, Solomon realized his son would need to possess great wisdom regarding the existence of terrorists: Repetition creates patterns, patterns create habits and habits become life-governing principles which are often too difficult to break. Evildoers, then, are anything but free; they are in bondage – held picturesquely by the cords of their sin. Note this truth illustrated in….
Proverbs 29:6 By transgression an evil man is ensnared, But the righteous sings and rejoices.
In this contrasting Proverb, the righteous, on the other hand, possess the power of the Holy Spirit because of their redemption in Christ. They are victorious over sinful habits and live liberated, joyfilled lives! They often sing and rejoice!
WHAT ARE THE SMALL HABITS OF TODAY IN YOUR LIFE THAT ARE GROWING…AND IF LEFT UNCHECKED COULD LEAD TO YOUR DESTRUCTION?
Other Proverbs echo this same thought….
Proverbs 11:17 The merciful man does himself good, But the cruel man does himself harm.
Proverbs 28:10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good.
These are choice Proverbs to review and explain to your children and grandchildren.
C. THEY END UP BEING PUT OUT OR PUT AWAY
Proverbs 2:22 But the wicked will be cut off from the land And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.
Like all the Proverbs of Solomon, this one is primarily related to the nation Israel, but applicable to “the Lord and His people” (Kidner) today. In light of Matthew 18:15-20, unrepentant sinners are to be put out of the church. In a broader, secular sense, wicked people in society are put out of society and appropriately, into jail or prison or else death.
Proverbs 10:29 The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the upright, But ruin to the workers of iniquity.
Proverbs 11:21 Assuredly, the evil man will not go unpunished, But the descendants of the righteous will be delivered.
Proverbs 24:20 For there will be no future for the evil man; The lamp of the wicked will be put out.
D. FEW ARE EVER RESTORED
Proverbs 6:15 Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.
Proverbs 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.
Notice these passages closely. Terrorists end badly. Inevitably their sins will find them out, if not in this life, in the one to come. God is just and in very appropriate action, evildoers in this life spend eternity in hell in the life to come; theirs is an everlasting torment in punishment for all that they have meted out in this life.
The world has always been full of evildoers, and it always will be. As a matter of fact, notice from the gospel of Luke (21:11) that it prophesies terrorism in the end times:
And there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
The greatest anxiety however that should be elicited from modern day terrorism should not be related to how one can spot or protect themselves or society from evildoers, but how one can avoid being labeled a terrorist in God’s eyes…for apart from Christ, who is perfectly holy and totally righteous, every man, Scripture says, is an evildoer. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” states Romans 3:23. Notice the selfrighteous, prideful attitude of the unrepentant in this last Proverb:
Proverbs 30:12 There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness.
Are you self-righteous, looking down with condescension at others whom you deem less honorable than you….or have you confessed your sins at the foot of the Cross and trusted in Christ as your Lord? Proverbs 16:25 states, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Today could be the day that you are delivered from the status of “evildoer” to a “child of God.” Amen!
As God removes His restraint in our unrepentant nation, may he help us as evildoers are on the rise.