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Perverted and Twisted Ways

 


About 94 times this word is used in the Bible, but it was the first time my teenage son asked me about it. We were randomly listening to someone talk on the radio and the word was used in a sentence. So my son asked, "Dad, what does perversion mean?"

A couple of days before this conversation, I was meditating (day-dreaming?) when an image came into my mind--a long, thin piece of metal hung in the air before me, the back was black and the front was white. I observed as, like a bread bag tie, the top of the piece of metal turned. Now when I looked, it was still a thin piece of metal, but on the frontside, the top part was black and the bottom was white, twisted at its center.

At times, this word can be found to simply describe: roads, pathways, crown of thorns, braids of hair or thread, or a body in pain or possessed. I love the verse that says, "three cords twisted together are not quickly broken" (Ecc 4:12).

However, it is used negatively like when Peter describes what those who are "uncertain and without knowledge" do to the apostle Paul's writings which contain "some hard sayings." Have you ever been uncertain and get things "twisted" in your mind? Ever listen to someone who "thought" they knew something?

The "ways" of people can be twisted, as well as the heart (Jer 17:9) and the mind (Pr 17:20). Jesus used the word to describe the generation of people he was speaking to (Mt 17:17; Lk 9:41; see also Deuteronomy 32:5). There are several Proverbs using the concept of "twisted," and its synonyms are primarily, "perverse and crooked." (e.g. Pr 28:18)

When something is perverted or twisted in the heart and mind, part of what is right has been adjusted to be wrong; and part of what is wrong has been adjusted to look right.

Think about this: Would you want to build a house on a twisted, crooked foundation? How much less your life?  People try mentally, emotionally, physically, sexually--but all perversions will disintegrate, ruin, corrupt, and fail. Ever meet someone with a twisted mind or sense of humor? Ever listen to an associate describe a relationship gone bad ...for the tenth time? Twisted? Ever wonder why we are in the sexual identity dilemma in our country? Twisted?

The opposite of twisted is straight, but proverbs calls this "integrity." We use this to describe a building rocked in a quake, that has its foundation still intact or has "integrity."

Paul tells the Philippian Christians to prove themselves to be "blameless, innocent, children of God, above reproach, as lights" as they live in a crooked and perverse generation. Interesting the contrast he uses pulling in the appearance of "light"--a strong OT word used for God's people, the Israelites, and how they were to be representative of God to the other nations. 

But all perversions dim. Think of the metal strip I spoke of --the white side reflected light, but when the black side was twisted around to the front, the light was dimmed.

Along with the word twisted or perverted, Jesus tags along the word "apistos" the Greek word translated "no faith" or "unbelieving." See, when we come to God, we must believe that He is, and we must bring everything into His light so it can be straightened out by him. In His presence, order happens. In the world, chaos reigns. With order comes placement; with chaos things bump into and bend and twist and get knocked out of place. Chaos happens when things are in darkness--where Satan and his lies have their greatest effect.

It also happens when things are dimmed. But there is hope. Jeremiah 3:21 gives us the insight that twisted paths are brought about because people have not kept the Lord their God in mind. So think of God in all things, let His word dwell in you richly.

There is another word used throughout Scriptures, an ancient word used to describe what it means to turn around from the path one is on--toward darkness and perversion--to the light of God = Repentance.

Repentance means to turn back--the answer for getting on the straight way God has for your life. 




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