My dear friend AnnMarie joins us this week to tackle the next word in our ongoing Word Nerd Wednesday series on The Lord’s Prayer: evil.
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Evil (Hebrew; ra’, n.): bad, disagreeable, unpleasant; giving pain, unhappiness, or misery
Evil (Greek; kakos, or poneros n.): full of labors, annoyances, or hardships; in a physical sense, diseased or blind; in an ethical sense, wicked or bad. (Strong’s Concordance)
Evil: “Substantively and descriptively that which is offensive, perverted, or harmful; in the Bible indicative of both natural evil, such as physical disasters, and moral evil, such as deeds against God or one’s neighbor.” (The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary)
Throughout scripture, God uses a variety of terms to identify evil and the evil one. Many of these not only give evil a name, but also define his character, tactics and schemes. Satan, the adversary of God (Job 1) is also called the serpent (Gen 3:1), the dragon (Rev 12:9), and the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). He is the devil who accuses (Matt 4:1), the tempter who lures (Matt 4:3), and the liar who deceives (2 Cor 11:14). This wicked one (Matt 13:9) preys on our weaknesses (1 Pet 5:8) and rejoices in holding us captive to sin (Eph 2:2, 1 Th 2:18). Simply put, evil separates us from God! It blinds us from His truth, shields us from His goodness, and ultimately keeps us from fulfilling His will and purpose for our lives!
Thankfully, God has not left us to face this evil alone. In our key verse, Jesus implores us to ask the Father to “deliver us from evil.” He doesn’t say “if” or “in the event” that you find yourself near evil. Rather, Jesus assures us that in this life we will face evil.Thankfully, God has not left us to face this evil alone. #evil #thelordsprayer #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
Knowledge of Good and Evil
In the beginning, God created man and woman to live in perfect love, harmony, and unity with Him. As they began life in the garden, Adam and Eve knew only goodness, purity, and love. They were innocent and alive; they had no care in the world! The first couple was completely free to partake in all the beauty and magnificence that God had offered them. But, they were also free to choose!
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17)
At the moment they chose to disobey God, Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened to the knowledge of both good and evil. They no longer knew only perfection and beauty but were now exposed to the two extremes. That knowledge brought about not only the recognition of sin, but also the consequences of shame, darkness, and death. Their innocence (and ours) was forever lost.
In our lives as well, a loss of innocence often occurs when we are exposed to the truth. As children, we are carefree and fearless until we meet the pain of a tumble down the stairs. We are safe and secure until we meet grief at the loss of a loved one. We are trusting and hopeful until we meet betrayal in the form of divorce or abuse. We are proud and self-assured until we meet guilt at the cost of our own lies.
While Adam and Eve were born into goodness and their eyes were opened to evil, the opposite holds true for us. We were born into an evil, fallen world and will remain there unless our eyes are opened to the Truth! The evil one deceives us into believing that this world should provide for our wishes and that others can be held accountable for our own shortcomings. We journey through life, our accomplishments, and relationships (even attending church and claiming to be Christians) believing that we are good, while sinfully living in the grasps of the evil one.We were born into an evil, fallen world and will remain there unless our eyes are opened to the Truth! #evil #thelordsprayer #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
Jesus Delivers Us from Evil
But Jesus clearly provides us the way out of this facade. While we were still sinners (Rom 5:8) living in darkness, we knew only that darkness. While there may have been pleasantries or glimpses of goodness and love, we were still shielded from the true Light by the veil of sin. However, as soon as our hearts met Jesus and we acknowledged our sins to Him, our view was forever transformed! The truth of His love and goodness captivated our hearts, rescued us out of the pit of darkness, set us free from the evil one’s hold, and delivered us into the gracious, loving, forgiving, and redeeming arms of our Heavenly Father! We have been cleansed, judged innocent, and made alive for all eternity!
Do you remember that moment when you met Jesus? I surely do! Once seen, we cannot un-see Him! Once known, we cannot un-know Him! Once our eyes have been opened to the truth, the knowledge of the existence of both good and evil, we are forever changed. Just as Adam and Eve could never undo the knowledge of evil after they ate of the forbidden tree, we can never undo the knowledge of God’s goodness once we have encountered Jesus! Yet, just as God granted them the freedom to choose in the garden, He will continue to do so for all humankind until Jesus’ final return. John boldly shares one of the angel’s final messages, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (Rev 22:10-11)
Living Beyond the Presence of Evil
So then, what is it that we are to do with that knowledge? How is it that we are to live in this dark world, yet walk in God’s Light? Jesus directs us to continuously pray for deliverance (to be rescued or set free) from such evil. Paul reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day.” (Eph 6:12-13)
May that knowledge allow us to boldly pray for complete liberation from the hold of the evil one. May we confidently take up the Armor of God and cling to His Word as Jesus guides us safely “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23:4). With His blood, Jesus became “the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). May we walk in peace with Him, our personal escort and our Deliverer as He leads us along the glorious roads back into the garden and perfect union with our Heavenly Father (Rev 22).May we walk in peace with Him, our personal escort and our Deliverer as He leads us along the glorious roads back into the garden and perfect union with our Heavenly Father. #evil #thelordsprayer #wordnerdwednesday Click To Tweet
Meet Ann Marie
Linking Up With
For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne Eller, Faith On Fire, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and Truth, Faith and Fellowship Friday, Soul Survival, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His Story, Sitting Among Friends, Testimony Tuesday, Planting Roots, and Fresh Market Friday, Salt and Light.