Today: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Safe guard    (3/11/2018 )

Pictures that we see and stories that we hear about brutality, murder, cruelty and violence make it all too clear that there is evil at work in the world.  Children and women are abused, vulnerable people trapped and traded like cattle or slaves.  Bad things happen to good people.  There is evil in the world.

It is one of the most puzzling things for Christians who believe in the power and goodness of God.  How is it that evil has so much power and is given so much freedom?.  There is no simple answer - and the problem is only a problem because we believe in a loving God.  For those with no belief or expectations of God, there is no problem - that’s just how life is.

But the Bible makes it clear that there is such a thing as evil which needs to be taken seriously.  We don’t need to understand too much where evil comes from or what it is.  Enough to hear CSLewis’s description of “badness as spoiled goodness…  It is a parasite, not an original thing.”

It’s much more important to know how to respond to it.  Jesus, in the prayer he gave us through the disciples, taught us to pray - “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”  (see Matthew 6, verse 13).  We looked at the first part of that last week.  In the second part - which can also be translated - “but deliver us from the evil one” - we are encouraged to pray against it.  

Whatever form evil takes, whether it is personal, human, diabolical or seductive, the first thing we do is seek God’s protection and deliverance from it.  We take seriously words like those we find in Psalm 46 - “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble”. We shelter in God himself.

There is a second implication in the prayer.  It is that we are committed to fighting evil and standing against it in all situations.  That means that in our own personal choices, we lean firmly towards choosing good and right rather than opening the door to evil and wrong.  It means that where we find injustice and wrong, we will speak and work to overturn it.

And there is a third dimension.  When Jesus was crucified, it looked as though goodness had been nailed down on a cross, evil had triumphed and death was the outcome.  In the anguish of that darkness, Jesus cried out - “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  But that Friday’s darkness turned into Sunday’s light - Jesus who died was raised from death.  The one whom evil sought to destroy was the destroyer of sin, death and evil.  He is risen!  

So today, when evil sometimes seems to have the upper hand, we know it’s weakness, we have seen it conquered.  The prayer of Jesus - to be delivered from evil - has and will be answered.  He is evil’s conqueror.  That is a value we live by.  We share that victory!


Lord Jesus, by your death and resurrection, you have defeated all the powers of darkness, death and evil.  Deliver us from evil.  Help me to live in your victory, and by your power to displace evil with your goodness.

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