THAT AIN’T GOOD FOR YOU Andy Hollifield 2-12-19
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (KJV)
Sometimes a thought just hits you out of nowhere for no good reason at all. This was one of those. I began to think about being told growing up not to eat certain things or do certain things because “That ain’t good for you.” That statement, if I heeded it, would keep me well and functional. I somehow then began to think about it in a spiritual aspect. There were times in the bible that folks were told not to eat something because it wasn’t good for them. For example, the scripture in Genesis 2. Also, in Exodus 15 the Israelites came to Marah and even though there were twelve wells there, they couldn’t drink the water because it was bitter. Another time was with Elisha in Gilgal with the sons of the prophets. During a dry spell, they gathered whatever they could among herbs and gourds and so on, and shredded them up in a pot of pottage. As some began to eat, apparently they got sick and warned the others not to eat it. Elisha added meal to the pot and it was able to be eaten. That was another case where something wasn’t good for them.
There are probably other places but I really want to look at it through spiritual eyes. There are things as Christians that we should avoid because they aren’t good for us spiritually. They will hinder our walk with the Lord. The word “avoid” is first used in Proverbs 4:15. Speaking of the way of the evil men and the path of the wicked, the writer said “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.” Paul was always cautioning those he spoke to about avoiding the pitfalls of those with false doctrine. In Romans 16:17 he said, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” Why avoid them? Because they are not only a bad influence trying to influence your beliefs but they will try to trip you up in conversation. He told the Romans in 16:17 to avoid fornication and for each spouse to have their own spouse and not another. In 2 Timothy 2:23 Paul warns Timothy “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they gender strifes.” In Titus 3:9 Paul told him also “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” The word “avoid” is used five times in the bible and five in scripture is the number of grace. Isn’t it amazing that what the word tells you to avoid, God will give you grace for.
The word “abstain” means to hold yourself back voluntarily and especially if it’s improper or unhealthy. The word “avoid” means to keep away from and steer clear of something. The word “abstain” is used six times, all in the New Testament. In Acts 15:20, Paul speaks of abstaining from pollutions of idols, fornication, things strangled, and blood. In verse 29 he tells them plainly to “abstain from meats offered to idols.” In 1 Thessalonians 4:3 he speaks again about fornication. In 1 Thessalonians 5:22 he sums it up by saying to “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” If it even looks like it could be evil, hold yourself back from doing it. Paul says that in latter times, those that have departed from the faith and given in to false doctrines and seducing spirits and “having their conscience seared with a hot iron” will be commanding to abstain from meats and marrying. Peter 2:11 sums it up by saying, “…Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.”
There are a lot of things in scripture that we are told not to do because it will have an adverse effect on our walk with the Lord. One of those is found in Hebrews 10:25 where Paul tells the Hebrews to not forsake assembling together. On over in 12:15 he says, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Bitterness against someone will break your fellowship with the Lord no matter what you try to do. The only way to recover is to repent and get rid of the bitterness. In 1 Timothy 4:7 Paul also told Timothy to refuse profane and old wives’ fables.
If you neglect your prayer life and reading and studying his word, that ain’t good for you. If you oppress the poor or even don’t provide relief, that ain’t good for you. It will rob you of blessings God wants you to have. I’ve mentioned it already but failing to assemble yourself with the church, that ain’t good for you. You lose not only some of the blessings God wants you to have, but you lose the fellowship of like-minded people. We all need the comfort and security of being part of the flock. Solomon covered that pretty good in Ecclesiastes chapter four when he spoke about how two are better than one. Even in the garden of Eden God looked at Adam and decided that he needed a helpmate. If God thought it wasn’t good for Adam not to have some help and support, how is it we think we can live just as good at home; that ain’t good for you. Just think of all the things God tells us in scripture about what we should do. Doing the opposite or failing to do the things he has told us, that ain’t good for you. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!