SUNDAY SCRIPTURE~ WHAT IS EVIL?

A family member and I were recently discussing all the bad things that are happening in our country these days… and we got on the subject of evil.
True evil… not accidents or mistakes… but moral evil.  And he asked, “What IS evil?” Great question…
This is not necessarily a feel-good topic but today I want to talk about …
WHAT IS EVIL?

 Oh boy, did I pick a topic that is thick with theology and much debated and explained by scholars who talk and think way above my head!

This is not the definitive word on evil …. or even a thorough definition… and it will not even begin to scratch the surface of this topic… but it is an easy to understand and a good way to think about evil.
Evil is the absence of God.
When we push God out of our lives… out of our country… He WILL leave. He will never force himself or His presence on anyone. 
And when God leaves, He leaves a great big V-O-I-D. It is in that void that evil flourishes, no… abounds! 
Jesus, in the Sermon On The Mount said… 
“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, to show that you are the children of your Father in heaven,  for He makes the sun shine on the wicked and the good, and makes the rain fall on the upright and the evildoers.”
I want to highlight one part of this scripture that is not the main meaning, but will give us insight into good and evil.
Jesus says that God “makes the sun shine on the wicked and the good, and makes the rain fall on the upright and the evildoers”. What Jesus is saying, and the Jews of the day would understand this, is God’s grace and goodness is on all of His creation… both good and evil. “Rain” in the bible can be a symbol of blessing.  In ancient times God would withhold the rains when His people were turning away from Him and acting evil. It was a sign to the people… a way of God saying, “You better watch and turn back to Me”.
I’m not saying that droughts today are God’s way of warning us about evil in our lives and nations. Here is what I am saying… God’s grace and mercy to everyone is a way of showing who He is and His love for all of us! And because of His great blessings, love and mercy… this should make all people want to turn to Him.
But there are people that don’t accept, acknowledge or believe in God or His great love and benevolence to all of us. They choose to turn their backs on Him… and go their own way. And left to our own devices we can begin a very dark spiral into evil… a pit without the presence of God!
When we take this deadly path, evil abounds. And the saddest thing is the consequences of evil… the fallout… that ripples out onto those around the wicked. Evil is not discriminating, it effects everyone… the evil, the good, the innocent!  For example, we can easily see the horrific fallout of abuse on the lives of an abuser’s family. Innocents most often suffer! We have seen the heartbreaking fallout of evil in the recent Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
For me, the tragic occurrences in our country today are sure signs of a nation in deep trouble… in denial of God. You may not agree, and that is your right, but looking at these tragedies in today’s world that are perpetrated by evil people and the heart wrenching loss of life and innocence is a sure sign to me!
 Remember … evil is the absence of God.
Then how do we as individuals and as a nation curb the evil. The answer is easy… TURN BACK TO GOD!
Believe in the saving grace of Jesus!  The answer may be easy… 
The obedience to that biblical truth may not be!
We, who are authentic Christians, should be mourning over the loss of those who have chosen the darkness of the pit by rejecting God. But we should also find comfort in the truth that no one … NO ONE… is beyond salvation. 
We all have a choice, God gave the same choice to the Jews many centuries ago as they were just about to head into the promised land of Israel… the land they were to live in…
“I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the cures. So choose life in order that you may live, and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him, for this is your life and length of days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your father, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them”. Deut. 30: 19
We have a choice… like a multiple choice test… and God even gives us the correct answer…
Here’s your test…
What will you chose?
a. life and blessings
b. death and curses
c. chose life… 
What have you chosen?
 Evil is a sure sign of failing the test! But here is the great news… God let’s us retake the test. He is ready… are you?

Comments

  1. says

    GOOD and TRUE WORD! So many christians are afraid to “speak the truth”! They don’t want to offend for different reasons…..that is not what the BIBLE says….We must speak the truth and be not afraid of the gospel! There is EVIL and there is HELL! Great Post! Roxie

  2. says

    Yvonne, thanks for this meaningful lesson for each of us to take stock of our lives and turn away from sin. I cannot think of anything worse than not having Christ in my life although I am far from a perfect Christian. I hope your lesson touches many hearts and brings positive change to our nation and for eternity. Blessings, Shannon

  3. says

    This is an excellent post, Yvonne, and very timely and relevant for our nation and the individuals who make up this nation. It is so sad and discouraging to see how many people are choosing to turn their back on God. You made a very good point about the ripple effects of evil acts, and it’s heartbreaking how often the most innocent people suffer from acts of evil.

    I remember discussing in our Disciple Bible Study class several years ago that one definition of Hell is “eternal separation from God,” a lot like your definition of evil.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Denise

  4. says

    Thank you for this post. We can think of so many evils in our present-day lives, but you point out that evil flourishes in the absence of God. It’s true that you can never find evil predominating where the Holy Spirit is leading. A lot of people have been hurt by legalism in the Church, which I think has caused them to walk away from God. I think we Christians need to love others as Jesus loved, with compassion and understanding, not with fear and hysteria and not with bending scripture to fit people’s circumstances. It’s a difficult line to walk, but life can be very messy.

  5. says

    I am so glad you posted this today. It is the one topic in Christianity that I have deep struggles with. I am a Christian my children are Christians my husband wants to be a Christian But he cannot reconcile and I cannot answer how God Allows innocent people especially children to suffer We read about all the miracles of God and Jesus In the Bible And he has such a hard time understanding why God does not intervene intercept or prevent innocent suffering. I have to admit I even struggle with the answer to this. The only thing I can ever offer him is it is God’s plan but that does more harm than good Because he rightfully questions how it can be gods plan for innocent children to be abused or hurt. I’ve read just like you said when evil enters the world innocent people pay the price But it is hard knowing that God can create miracles and yet miracles do not save some of these innocent victims. Again thank you for taking the time to address this thoughtful topic. I will continue to pray for the innocent for my enemies for the godless And for people in nations and places where they have never heard of Jesus. (Please disregard the strange capitalization in this comment. I use my audio keyboard and it doesn’t recognize sentence endings.)

  6. says

    Yvonne, thank you for sharing your thoughts. God is the Almighty and it is only through Him that we can find peace,comfort,healing and salvation. Many Blessings for you today and the week ahead.

  7. judith says

    Thank you for speaking the truth,I absolutely agree -as I am greatly saddened at the news headlines and can hardly even read or watch anymore as I just see EVIL abounding everywhere, and your post today was like God speaking to remind me WHERE does your priorities lay as I / WE can get so caught up with the here and now, as sad as it seems though this is what God say’s will happen in the last days as the war between Good and evil {which has already been WON through the CROSS] comes to an end.So Thankyou for being God’s voice today!!! Judith from Australia.

  8. Amelia says

    …”for He makes the sun shine on the wicked and the good, and makes the rain fall on the upright and the evildoers”…great food for thoughts. My favorites from the New Testament is The Sermon on the Mount. Truly the only power which can withstands darkness is the lights of Christ or the lights of the Higher Power…others may believe in. What is good doesn’t create evil. We can feel there’s something missing from our lives, the V-O-I-D that you spoke of, when spirituality is missing from our lives. I’m absolutely thrilled to read your post today.

  9. says

    Yvonne, there will always be evil, perhaps to show us true believers that we must not take the Lord’s goodness for granted. We also must not sit on the sidelines and do nothing, and I think most of us do nothing. Creating a good ripple is what my grandmother always told me to do. But you cannot make a ripple if you don’t move, can you? Apathy is where we are now. If it’s too difficult, politically incorrect, or goes against the crowd we all sit back. Surely this is not correct. Goodness can overcome evil this I know for certain. And so do you. The Sandy Hook shootings were not necessarily evil, maybe just a terrible tragedy because a very mentally disturbed kid did not ever get the right medical help? The woman who drowned her 5 kids? Now, that was evil for surely she knew what she was doing at some point. Our countrymen have elected a bunch of idiots to office in DC but, even now we have safeguards against their deeds. Enlightenment is all we can hope for, I believe. Keep spreading the word, keep doing your brilliant work, keep uplifting all of us around the world as you are truly the light.

  10. says

    Very nice to see posts that make us think and demand a response other than Good job! I agree with you that evil is the absence of God, and it makes me very sad that with the knowledge that we are all loved by Him and created in His image is not enough to prevent bad things from happening. Evil, to me, are the atrocities committed by people who have lost their way. Some part of them is missing, and while it is not my place to judge, I am dreadfully sorry for them and for the unbearable sorrow they cause for others.

  11. Anonymous says

    This is a great topic for thought. I think that when all the people who claim to be walking with God and yet their actions say otherwise (therein is the evil). We are not to judge. That is Gods job. Walking in faith is not just words but moreso our day to day examples. Simply by…what would Jesus do and actually do it.

  12. says

    I suggest that evil is in the eye of the beholder. A good example of this is the bombing of the World Trade Center. In the eyes of we Americans this was evil, in the eyes of many others, this was considered justified as a smiting of the American Evil doers. So who is wrong?

  13. says

    One more thing. God is everywhere, there is no possibility of getting anywhere that he is not. You may be unconscious to him, but you cannot escape him. God was willing to give Ceasar his due, and condoned slavery. Evil changes depending on the times. Don’t crucify me for that statement, I abhor slavery, but I think that evil changes, depending on where and when you live, and it is all relative.

  14. says

    Perfect post.Hard to find a blog talk about evil. The modernism has created by evil,we have everything in material,comfort etc. but no value of life,family,virtue,morality now days.the victims as always the weak ones children and the new generation.now evils are everywhere television ,states,books,even so much more.
    the beauty of the creation,God gave each human with ‘FREE WILLING’.
    live in the Grace of God
    or live with evils.
    So beautiful Christianity.
    Blessed you are who born and grew up in the Christianity. we are ex pagans need to cross miles away,renegaded beloved native family just to accept THE ONLY MIGHTY GOD ‘Jesus Christ’.
    thanks for sharing Yvonne
    love and blessed you

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