“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils’ schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” Ephesians 6:10-13
As we turned on the television this week we were once again reminded that we live in an evil and fallen world. A world were cowardly representatives of a hate filled, false religion of death strap on a bomb with the goal of killing innocent teenage girls, their parents and grandparents. The tragic murder of over 20 with more than 50 injured in Manchester, England slaps us with the reality that not only does evil exist, but we are surrounded by it. This is nothing new; evil has always existed since the garden of Eden and always will exist until the Lord calls an end to the world as we know it. But it’s continued existence does not give us an excuse to ignore it. This week we feel sadness, hurt, compassion and hopefully anger and righteous indignation at what has occurred and is occurring around the world; but two emotions we cannot allow a place in our lives are fear and apathy. The goal of evil is to cultivate fear and when we allow these heinous acts to plant fear in our hearts, we diminish our faith that God is in control as David reminds us in the 23rd Psalms “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death—I will fear NO evil”! God, whose is the righteous judge will repay evil and those who sow fear will reap His judgement. But even worse than fear, is the feeling of apathy or indifference these acts seem to bring about. We must never grow comfortable or complacent with injustice, with evil and with those who practice it. We must pray, we must speak up, we must speak out, we must stand up and call these acts for that they truly are; evil! The Bible does promises us that love conquers evil and that love will ultimately overcome all evil in our world, but that does not give us an excuse not to act. This is a war, both physically and spiritually and it is naïve to think the answer can be found in everyone coming together, holding hands, singing kumbaya, and hoping it goes away. We must be diligent, directed and confident in our prayers and we must do all we can to stand up for righteousness, to stand up for those facing evil firsthand, and expose it for what it is! Edmund Burke’s quote is just as relevant today as it was 200 years ago, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do noting”.