Fire in my Bones Youth for Jesus

In praise of wickedness | Fire in my bones | J.O. Lawal

Date: August 17, 2022 | Series: Youth for Jesus | Number: Vol. 5, No. 14

“I have thought deeply about all that goes on here in the world, where people have the power of injuring each other. I have seen wicked men buried, and as their friends returned from the cemetery, having forgotten all the dead man’s evil deeds, these men were praised in the very city where they had committed their many crimes! How odd!” (Eccl 8:9-10TLB)

One main way to keep a town, city, country, or organization in stagnation, misery, or poverty is to continually praise or reward wickedness. Unfortunately, many people do not understand this. Therefore, because of fear, greed, or love for the praise of men, they praise wickedness where they should condemn it or reward wickedness where they should punish it. Then they sit down and wonder why there is not much growth, development, prosperity, and safety where they are. Isn’t that odd?

Well, that is exactly the situation Solomon is dealing with in our opening bible text. According to him, he had been to funerals of wicked people and had seen how even victims of their wickedness spoke well of them. But they knew in their hearts that these people deserved no form of praise or commendation. Yet hypocrisy, fear, or greed would not allow them to say the truth that they knew about them. And Solomon is asking if that is not odd.

Now perhaps you have once attended a funeral in which those who were asked to speak spoke ill of the dead person. I have never attended one. And I am sure most of those who have attended funerals at different times and of different persons will agree that people hardly speak ill of dead people at their funerals, even if they have been direct victims of their wickedness. Why is this so? Hypocrisy!

Hypocrisy is the major reason we will be singing the praise of a wicked person, whether they are dead or alive, even when we have been victims of his wickedness. Today, we often see those who have hurt their own people terribly and oppressed them in many ways being praised and commended in religious houses by the very same people they have been oppressing, especially when they make some huge donations. What is behind such things? Hypocrisy!

But as Solomon tells us, it is odd and actually foolish of us to function in this manner and still expect a better society. It is foolish of us to continually speak and sing in praise of wickedness and still expect it to go away from our society. That will never happen. It will never happen because what we are doing is counter-productive.

See, we cannot be strengthening evil with our words and songs and expect those doing it to stop. They will not stop. Instead, they will continue to act under the assumption that we are okay with whatever they do. And even when they know that we are not fine with their wickedness, they will still continue to perpetuate it, as long as they can induce us to sing their praises instead of saying what we really think and know about them. You can see why vote buying, vote selling, and other similar nonsense are widespread in our land.

In any case, if you and I want to break the wings of evil where we are, we have to begin to call it what it is, instead of singing its praise, maybe out of fear, hypocrisy, or greed. But are we going to do that in our homes, schools, offices, neighborhoods, cities, and religious assemblies? May God grant us sufficient willingness and courage to always do so, for our good and for the good of those generations of people that may come after us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.