I think it is impossible to fathom the level of evil that lies dormant in every single human heart. Hitler was made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen . . . Blood, flesh and bone. And yet he stands as a man who converted a whole lot of potential evil into kinetic evil. The human heart is like a battery with evil stored up, and we can hope and pray that something inhibits the actual expression of that evil.
I cannot fathom the grisly reality on the streets of the towns and villages in Israel. Evil has broken out of the potential into the kinetic. Stored up hatred and evil has broken through in such a clearly visible way, that only the most calloused and desensitized and maybe even demonic could be moved to deny the reality of evil.
But I am writing to remind us that we are occasionally rocked to the core by the darkness of evil practiced, while we imagine peace when evil remains hidden in it’s merely potential state. The Bible declares what is TRUE of the human heart. Jeremiah, the prophet of God testifies that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Who can understand it, indeed!
And so in these moments we are rightly encouraged to pray. But for what do we pray? Peace? Victory for our side? More vengeance? Blood for blood? Eye for eye? Tooth for tooth?
Pray however you feel led, but I would encourage us all to pray for Christ to draw near to those who have suffered so much fear and loss. Pray for the one missing a son or daughter, spouse or parent. Pray for the one who lost all they owned and have no shelter, clothes, or food. Pray for the many who will suffer anxiety for the rest of their lives due to enduring these terrifying days. And pray for God’s vengeance against the evil doer.
But also pray for yourself. Pray against the potential evil that lies dormant within you. Pray in confession and repentance for the ways that we have contributed to the evil in this fallen world.
In a very poignant passage of Scripture, Jesus shows his followers how to process tragic current events.
In Luke 13:1-5 we find that:
‘There were some present at that very time who told him [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”’
Jesus took the opportunity during tragic and evil events to encourage us all to look inward at our own sinfulness. He used the headlines as a call to PERSONAL repentance.
Unfortunately, Christians often unite in times like this against SOMEONE. But I believe that Jesus would call us instead, to unite against sin and evil. Even against sin in us. Against the potential evil in our own souls that is looking for an opportunity of expression.
The events in Israel are shocking. And as the events unfold, I am sure we have not seen the end of the human suffering in that region. But we are NOT immune to evil as we stand ‘far off’ from the tragedy. We are never far away from a potential outbreak of evil!
So let’s pray against the darkness, while declaring the light. Jesus Christ has come to rescue us from our own sin-cursed hearts. Keep running to Him. Keep trusting in Him. Keep following the leading of the Holy Spirit into deeper love for him that dispels the potential evil within us. As trite as it may sound, I know no other answer than Jesus! Fix your eyes on Him. Run to Him. And never let go of Him!