Posted by: dhkrause | October 21, 2017

Overcome Evil with Good

John 1_17

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth
came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:17 (NIV)

God’s truth and grace are alive in His people, as Jesus teaches in John 14, enabling us to overcome evil with good.  He promises to anyone who loves Him and keeps His word, that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will dwell in him, and that He and His Father will make Their home in him:

 John 14 (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

We now have the distinct privilege of overcoming evil with good, as 1 John 4:4 declares: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Matthew 5_16

The life of Joseph in the book of Genesis gives a wonderful picture of overcoming evil with good.  There are significant parallels between the mission of Jesus and the life of Joseph.  For example, God planned the suffering of Joseph in advance to save many (Genesis 50:20), and Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)  Both were tempted but without sin, staying focused on giving glory to God in every circumstance, as Jesus describes in Matthew 5:

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

In every circumstance, Joseph prospered because the Lord was with him.  His jealous brothers had sold him as a slave to Ishmaelite traders who later sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.  Even as Potiphar’s slave, everything prospered in his hand.  Seeing this, Potiphar made him the overseer of his house.

Genesis 39 (NKJV)
Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight, and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority. So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was on all that he had in the house and in the field. Thus he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand, and he did not know what he had except for the bread which he ate.

Genesis 39_3

Later, Potiphar’s wife falsely accused Joseph of attempting to lie with her, and succeeded in arousing Potiphar’s anger, resulting in Joseph being put into prison.  Yet, once again he prospered because the Lord was with him.

19 So it was, when his master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying, “Your servant did to me after this manner,” that his anger was aroused. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were confined. And he was there in the prison. 21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. 23 The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made it prosper.

One day, Joseph interpreted the dreams of the Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker in prison: that the butler would be restored to his position and the chief baker would be executed.  Both of these predictions came true soon afterward.

Two years later, Joseph was brought out of the prison to interpret Pharaoh’s two dreams.  These interpretations predicted that after seven years of great plenty, seven years of severe famine would arise.  Then Joseph advised Pharaoh on what to do, and the king decided to make Joseph his executive ruler over all of Egypt.

 33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”

37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

Later, in Genesis 50:20, Joseph tells his brothers, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Genesis 50_20

The missionary, Bruce Olson (Bruchko) likewise has a testimony of overcoming evil with good.  He followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to go to the native Columbians  in the jungles of South America.  When he met up with the Indians, one of them suddenly stabbed him in the side with a spear causing him to lose consciousness.  Upon awakening, he found himself in the care of a teenage Indian who had been assigned as his caretaker until he returned  to health.  He prayed asking God, “Did I truly hear you correctly, when You directed me to come here?”  The Lord replied, “Yes, you are doing exactly what I want you to do.”  Much fruit has resulted from his ministry with the Motilone Indians in the Jungles of Columbia beginning in 1961.

Darlene Rose, missionary to New Guinea, experienced the fruit of obeying Jesus’ command to “pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”.  She prayed for the mean officer over of the woman’s prisoner-of-war camp in New Guinea in the Second World War, and  God answered her prayers by changing his heart.  This commander later saved her life, and after the war went on to preach the gospel over Japanese national radio.

Matthew 5 (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

As His sons and daughters, we have the privilege and power to overcome evil with good, because “greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  (1 John 4:4 KJV)  When we do, His light shines through us and our Father in heaven is glorified.  (Matthew 5:16)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 10/21/2017, https://compellinglove.net/

Photo credits:
https://newcreeations.org/john-117/
http://praying-olatubosun.blogspot.com/2016/04/matthew-516-let-your-light-shine-in-me.html
https://www.heraldandbanner.com/hb/lesson-highlight-the-lord-made-all-to-prosper/
http://clifflukaye.co.ke/daily-bible-verses/2017-08-08-genesis-50-20.html


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