Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil. – Isaiah 5:20
According to etymology, the word trivia was coined in about 1715. One of its meanings is “unimportant or ordinary.” Hence, trivia facts are often the details of life that most people probably never notice.
Recently, my wife and I attended a Thanksgiving dinner for the seniors of our church. After the meal, we had a time for singing and a trivia game. We were all excited by the challenge. Included in the quiz were questions such as: Which keys on a telephone do not have alphabet letters below the numbers? In which hand does the Statue of Liberty hold the torch of freedom? If you were living north of the equator, in which direction would your sink water go down the drain, clockwise or counter-clockwise?
While I was able to answer a fair number of the questions correctly, I was surprised at how much we fail to observe about the world around us each day. There are many facets of life that most of us never notice!
The questions in our game were trivia questions, literally meaning “unimportant questions.” Knowledge of answers to these questions probably will not change our lives much. However, when it comes to recognizing good and evil, there is no such thing as trivia! Our focus verse speaks of a day in which men will call evil good, and good evil, and the Bible assures us that they will be judged by God for their corruption. To avoid that judgment, it is critical that we are always able to correctly identify good and evil.
We are admonished in the Bible to be “wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil” (Romans 16:19). That means we should have ample experience with that which is good, making us wise regarding such things. Further, we should have no experience with evil, making us simple, or unknowledgeable, about those things. Obeying this instruction is what will ensure us eternal life with our Savior, but we can only do this if we rightly recognize good and evil when we see them.
Thankfully, we are not left in the dark as to how to identify good and evil. The Word of God defines each one clearly, and the Holy Spirit teaches us to recognize them in the world. The Bible says, “Strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). If we look in His Word and seek His will, He will show us clearly what things are good and what things are evil.
May we never be embarrassed when life presents us with a “quiz” on good and evil. These quizzes come up each day as we make decisions about what we will read, what we will watch, where we will go, and what we will do. We want to be wise unto that which is good, through our obedience to God’s Word, and remain simple concerning evil, never experiencing such things. Are we passing the test?