Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. – Proverbs 25:26
Christians are to be a nourishing source of life to the culture around them because of the nourishing Source of life inside of them by the Holy Spirit (John 7:38, Ezekiel 47:1-12). Yet sometimes Christians can be a source of pollution to the culture around them without even knowing it. Of course, there are the clear examples of cultural pollution coming from Christians via sinful lifestyles, etc., yet Proverbs shows us another way God’s people (the righteous) pollute the land. “Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked,” (Prov 25:26).
Giving way before the wicked simply means to let evil have its way in the land – with little to no resistance. Edmond Burke once said about the French Revolution, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” But the writer of Proverbs goes even further and shows the result of righteous people refusing to confront evil – they cease to be nourishment and actually pollute the land.
A spring and a well are the instruments through which people receive water. As we all know, water is what makes up 75% of our bodies, so without it we can’t survive. The early settlers and pioneers understood this, and when they found a fresh spring and dug a well they were able to bring life to a community.
Having fresh springs and a clean well is a way of life for the entire world. But what happens when it becomes muddied and polluted? The very water that brought life would then cause death. The very source of nourishment would then become a source of pollution.
When a righteous person, who is called to nourish others, refuses to confront evil they become muddied and polluted. As a result, the culture experiences death instead of life. We are watching this in America today.
As Edmund Burke said, all we have to do is simply keep quiet in the face of evil for it to take over. So too today, our silence as Christians in the face of evil has caused us to become muddied wells and polluted springs. We have ceased to walk in the life-giving function for which we were intended by God to fulfill. The church’s silence, especially by the church’s leaders, in a time of evil is very dangerous. People may find entertainment in much of the church today, but not nourishment.
It’s time to stand against evil, beginning personally and in our homes. Then we must stand strong against the evil in our culture so that others can be nourished with the life giving hope of Jesus!
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