As I write this, a major story in the American sports world is the arrest of an NFL star named Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez is charged with murder.
It seems quite unreal to me. I am by no means a New England Patriots fan (actually, I can’t stand them). But it’s unbelievable to me that someone could have such a blatant disregard for life, that he would plot and carry out the murder of another person.
Hernandez, is of course innocent until proven guilty, but things don’t look good for him right now. All the evidence that we know of points to he and two others murdering another man.
I couldn’t help but think of that as I read this psalm. David wrote,
An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong. (1-4)
Do all these things relate to Hernandez’s case? That is yet to be seen. But it shows the heart of so many who do evil.
Evil starts with a lack of fear in our hearts for God. When we refuse to acknowledge God in our lives, then just about anything goes. We are free to do almost anything. The only thing that would restrain us would be a fear of punishment or our conscience.
And apart from God, our consciences inevitably become warped. Some people’s consciences are warped to a lesser degree than others, but they are warped nonetheless. And they become blinded to what is truly good and right. As David wrote,
For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. (2)
How do we flatter ourselves? We think of ourselves as better than we really are. Or we think we are perfectly justified in all our actions. The result: we can’t even detect, no less hate the sin in our lives.
And in our sin, we cease to be wise and to do what is good.
If the prosecutors’ are right, Hernandez was so angry with the victim, that he murdered him.
Part of the reason it seems so unreal to me is that if this is true, not only did he destroy another man’s life, he destroyed his own. He was rich and had everything he needed from a material standpoint. He worked with a good organization. He seemed set for life. Yet he couldn’t forgive the grievance he had against the victim and that grievance became more important to him than anything else.
That includes his fiancee and his 7 month old daughter who will now be without a husband and father if he is found guilty.
But when we commit ourselves to a course of evil, that’s what happens. When we fail to reject what we know is wrong, we destroy ourselves and end up hurting the ones we love.
How about you? You probably haven’t murdered anyone. But how about in your heart? Do you hold anger and unforgiveness in your heart? Jesus said that if you do, you have murdered that person in your heart. (Matthew 5:21-22).
Aside from that, are you giving yourself to other destructive tendencies in your life? Do you fail to fear God, saying, “Oh, he’ll forgive me. It’s okay?” Have you been justifying yourself for actions you know are wrong? Are you committing yourself to a path you know is wrong?
Let us be wise. Let us fear God and do what is right, not giving in to the evil that infects our world.