How often do we consider the word AVOID? For a culture of “anything goes” ~ God accepts us as we are ~ we are incapable of sensing what God wants for His creation. The main focus for us as His children is our heavenly Father, who He is, and what He commands for us.
The Words of Life~ LIFE through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ ~ are revealed by His Holy Spirit through His Holy Word. His Word at intervals provides warning signs that point to the dangers that keep us from this LIFE. The enemy always waits and attempts to divert our attention and to block the paths of righteousness Christ has provided and opened for us.
Compared to the many beautiful Words of the Kingdom, there are only a few ways the word avoid are used; less in the Old Testament than the New. We do well to consider these.
The Garden had only one avoidance among all the wonders, beauty and provisions. There was only one thing that kept Adam and Eve from the Tree of Life. They did not have the ability ~ left to themselves, to their free will ~ to avoid that one thing. So too, we need Christ within us to avoid the things of this world.
Old Testament H5437
Strong’s Concordance defines AVOID; cabab sä·vav’; to turn, turn about or around or aside or back or towards
“And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. 1 Samuel 18:11
The reference to David’s experience
with Saul is a good reference to the word avoid. The javelin missed its mark because David turned from the mark to which Saul cast. David saw it coming and moved.
This reminded me of the word repentance in the New Testament. We turn from the direction we are going (which is straight toward the javelin of the devil) from the path of the multitudes and destruction. We avoid at all costs those places, those people, and those things that are dangerous.
H6544 para`pä·rah;to let alone; to loosen; by implication, to expose, dismiss
“Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”
New Testament G1578
Strong’s Concordance defines AVOID: kklinōek-klē’-nō; to turn (one’s self) away, to turn away from, keep aloof from one’s society to deviate, i.e. (absolutely) to shun (literally or figuratively), or (relatively) to decline (from piety).
Paul’s instructions to the Roman Christians is in relation to people ~ those who cause divisions and offences contrary to doctrine. They were to avoid those who were teaching false doctrine.
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Immorality is specifically addressed in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church.
“Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” 1 Corinthians7:2
As Paul instructed young Timothy and Titus, he included those things they should avoid ~ profane and vain babblings, oppositions of science, foolish and unlearned questions, genealogies, contentions, strivings about the law~ these were unprofitable and vain.
“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
1 Timothy 6:20
“But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.” 2 Timothy 2:23
“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.” Titus 3:9
While we endure opposition from the outside, we should be careful how we as members of the body of Christ relate to each other. There are more things that we have in common than to waste our time quibbling over other things.
The multitudes look at the church and wonder how we think we are any different than they are when we are in constant opposition against each other. These strivings and contentions are to be avoided if we are to experience the true life of Christ.
Blessed Father in heaven, you are so good to fill us with your grace ~ Christ in us, the hope of glory. By your Holy Spirit, work in us the truth of the Life that is ours in Him. Teach us to see and avoid the javelins that are thrown at us every day. Enable us to move away from those areas and those people whom the enemy uses to hinder our growth and ministry in your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.