Are You Vulnerable to Evil?

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. -Proverbs 25:28

The world is a dangerous place. There are diseases, corrupt politicians, false teachers, murderers, liars, pain, addiction, and fear. How can Jesus expect us to navigate such a broken world? Aren’t we vulnerable to all of these terrible things? Aren’t we vulnerable to evil?

The First Vulnerability

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. – Genesis 3:7

Adam and Eve experienced vulnerability to evil after they sinned in the garden. Consider the passage from Proverbs: they were a city broken into and without walls. They were vulnerable to the outside, naked to the elements. But why did sin make them vulnerable? Look at Proverbs again:

A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. -Proverbs 25:28

They had no self control when the serpent tempted them to eat. There was no hesitation, no consideration of consequence or of God’s one command.

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. – Genesis 3:6

What’s the first sign that you’re vulnerable to sin, that you’re a “city broken into” and left without walls? Lack of self control, and fear.

“I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” – Genesis 3:10

The Second Vulnerability

Adam and Eve were in the presence of God, and while they did sin, they were also saved. But what if that wall inside you that’s broken down isn’t rebuilt? What if you continue to be vulnerable to evil? What if you continue to lack self control, and stay in fear?

Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” – 1 Samuel 15:24

Though Saul was full of apologies, he never did repent in the end. His walls were never rebuilt. Over and over he gave in to a lack of self control, he gave in to fear. And like Saul, our continued vulnerability can turn into an invasion:

Later, in Saul’s house, David was playing the harp. Saul was there with his spear in his hand. Then an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul. Saul threw his spear at David and tried to pin him to the wall. David jumped out of the way, so the spear missed him and stuck in the wall. – 1 Samuel 19:9-10

(If you’d like to understand more about why this passage says that God sent an evil spirit, check out one of my previous posts that covers demonic activity in the Old Testament here.)

Saul was afraid of David. He feared losing his throne, and his life. He lacked self control, always going his own way and disobeying God, and constantly trying to kill David. Saul’s vulnerability was never resolved. The broken walls inside him were never rebuilt. So something invaded.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8

And the devil is not good company for your broken down walls. This invasion directly assaults righteousness:

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33

Hope for the Vulnerable

This all seems pretty hopeless! Vulnerability leads to fear and lack of self control, which leads to…demons?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Saul was an unrepentant example of what happens when God’s promises are ultimately rejected. The reality is that God is offering us a way out of our vulnerability to evil. But let us also not be naive: evil is there. Satan is a roaring lion, and should not be taken lightly. Vulnerability to sin is real, but there is a solution.

Are you vulnerable to sin? Do you feel exposed to the dangers of the world? Are your walls broken down?

But houses in villages without walls around them are to be considered as belonging to the open country. They can be redeemed, and they are to be returned in the Jubilee. – Leviticus 25:31

The Jubilee is happening now. And Jesus, the redeemer, is waiting for us to return. You can be redeemed. It’s not too late.

Do you struggle with self control? Are fears and anxieties plaguing you? Are you broken into? Have you been invaded by sin?

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the Lord; “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” – Psalm 12:5

Adam and Eve were plundered, afraid, vulnerable, and naked to sin. What did God do?

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. – Genesis 3:21

When God banished them from the garden, he didn’t kick them to the curb. He didn’t abandon them. He didn’t leave them vulnerable. We know this because sometime after Adam and Eve leave the garden, Eve says something quite interesting. I believe we should pay close attention to the last thing the Bible records Eve saying:

Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” – Genesis 4:1

We were a house without walls, and Jesus redeemed us in the open country. God will build us up, and he will help us all the rest of our days:

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. – Titus 2:11

He will teach you how to have self control:

It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. – Titus 2:12

He will clothe you like he clothed Adam and Eve, in purity and redemption:

While we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. – Titus 2:13-14

He will protect you from desolation, from the vulnerability of evil. If you want this, then pray:

“O my God, incline your ear and hear. Open your eyes and see our desolations, and the city that is called by your name. For we do not present our pleas before you because of our righteousness, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, pay attention and act. Delay not, for your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.”

While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice.

He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved.” – Daniel 9:18-23

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