by: Allen Domelle
“Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand.”
In the verse above, the sins of Samaria and Jerusalem finally caught up to them. When God described the actions of these people, He chose some very select words to show their depravity. He says that they devised iniquity. In other words, they carefully thought out ways to do wrong. They added to their sin by working “evil upon their beds.” They were immoral, not just at night, but even in the morning. The society of those cities was desperately wicked.
Why would they do such things when they were the cities of God’s blessings? The key to answering this question is found in the last part of the verse when it says, “…because it is in the power of their hand.” They did it because they had the power to do it. They did it because they put no restraint to their desires, feeling or emotions. The absence of self-restraint was their eventual destruction.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Many people think that because they can do something that makes it right. That is the lie of the Devil. Just because you can do something doesn’t make it right. Just because you can hurt someone that you know something about doesn’t mean you should do it. Just because you can push someone out of power and take over their position doesn’t mean you should do it. Just because you can look at something and never get caught doesn’t mean you can do it. Just because you can commit a sin and never get caught doesn’t mean you should do it. The power to do something doesn’t make it right.
Always remember that unrestrained power is dangerous. Every person needs to have something that keeps them in check. What I mean by this statement is that you have to have someone to whom you will listen that can tell you “No”. There must always be checks and balances with power. An executive power without a judicial power becomes a dictatorial power. A judicial power without a legislative power to dictate powers is dangerous. You are living on dangerous ground if you don’t have someone in your life who can tell you that you can’t do whatever it is you are doing. A pastor has to answer to someone. A parent must answer to someone. A leader of any sort always needs someone to whom they answer.
The key to all of this is self-restraint. You must practice self-restraint if you want to keep yourself from destruction. Friend, you may think that you can do something because you have the power to do it, but you will eventually find out that there is a power greater than you who will stop you. You may enjoy the pleasure of doing what you want to do because you have the power to do it, but one day you will rue the day when you didn’t practice self-restraint. There are going to be times when you need to tell yourself, “No!” Don’t ever assume the mentality that because you have the power to do something that means you can get away with it.
Not only must self-restraint be practiced, but accountability must be set into place to keep unrestrained power restrained. Even if nobody else requires accountability, for your own safety and protection you need to set up some form of accountability. Always remember that any power unrestrained is damaging. For your own sake and for the sake of those you love, I implore you to be accountable to someone or something so that you never face the devastation that unrestrained power will bring. Let accountability become your self-restraint.