July 07, 2021 – Wednesday
Matthew 6:34 NIV
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Matthew 6:34 YLT
34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow, for the morrow shall be anxious for its own things; sufficient for the day is the evil of it.
Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) is included because of the choice of the word evil instead of the word trouble in the NIV. The KJV, YLT, and only eight others have evil instead of trouble. So, a question arose, does each day have enough trouble of its own or does each day have enough evil of its own to deal with?
Strong’s Greek 2549 gives us badness, i.e. depravity, or malignity, or trouble. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon is somewhat stronger with three definitions: 1 – malignity, malice, ill-will, desire to injure; 2 – wickedness, depravity; 3 – Hellenistically, evil, trouble; and then shows number 3 is how it is used in Matthew 6:34.
What to make of this? That is why I often turn to commentaries for remarks like this from Ellicott’s Commentary, The word rendered “evil” occurs in the Gospels only in this passage, and in the Epistles has commonly the sense of “wickedness.” That meaning would be too strong here; but it reminds us that our Lord is speaking not of what we call the simple accidents or misfortunes of life, but of the troubling element which each day brings with it, and against which we have to contend, lest it should lead us into sin. That conflict is more than enough for the day, without anticipating a further mischief. Frankly, I would not have thought about why it is only in one of the gospels, but I did wonder why the harsher meanings (both one and two) were in the epistles.
How would I look at how this might apply in my day-to-day life? Well, on a number of jobs I have worked on in the past there was a tendency of some to look past the problems we were solving that had to be solved, to other problems that also had to be solved. Things always went better when we insisted on solving the problems before us before attempting to solve problems that were not yet in front of us. A current saying we used then was, “We will cross that bridge when we get to it.” Obviously, we peeked ahead to make sure our solution to the current problem was not going to make the next problem worse if at all possible. And some of the problems we had to solve were so difficult, they were not only trouble, but so difficult we called them evil.
The Benson Commentary not only spoke to this verse, but to the problems we had to solve as well. He wrote, Speaking after the manner of men. Every time has abundant necessary troubles of its own; so that it is foolish to increase present distresses by anticipating those that are to come, especially as by that anticipation it is not in your power to prevent any future evil. To which I would add a heartfelt AMEN! For me, this verse is what I might expect in a Proverb of the Bible.
In addition, I would add that this can be applied to problems in the home as well. I am reminded of Ephesians 4:26-27, In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. I truly believe this is important especially in a marriage. Don’t give anger or the devil a foothold in your marriage!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for such Godly wisdom in Your Word. Your wisdom brings great peace when it is followed. Thank You for showing us how to focus our attention daily. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.