Facing up to Evil

There is a scene from the movie Schindler’s List that perhaps says more about human nature, and how people throughout the centuries have reacted to Evil than most of us would like to admit. Because it still applies.

A number of Jewish women in a WW II concentration camp are talking quietly in their barracks, when a new arrival, an old woman, tells them, “I have heard a terrible story, of a place called “Auschwitz.” She recounts a now-familiar story of women stripped naked, and then herded into the gas chambers for their execution. The camera pans the faces of the stunned listeners. Then one of the protagonists of the story, a woman who has seen her family violently taken from their homes, her family separated, and her children killed, looks into our eyes, and says earnestly, “Oh, zat is ZOH horrible. I cannot believe zey vud do ANYTHING zoh horrible!”

My own reaction is different, from the hindsight of history. I want to scream at the screen, “For cryin’ out loud, what is it gonna take?” As if to bring home the point, the movie shows us that the next day, those women are put on the train to Auschwitz, and their deaths.

We are sometimes tempted to believe we know better now. And that, furthermore, it “could never happen here.” Those who have been watching the news, and can read both history and Scripture, know better:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9)

There absolutely is such a thing as Evil. And whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or would rather deny the Truth, it still works in the world.

Evil men really do wax worse and worse. The love of money – even though what passes for currency today is hardly what the Bible calls it – is still at the root. And when it can be printed literally without limit, so are the deceptions, and the consequences. But the inevitable debt collapse draws nearer day by day. And since that total debt, and the even more incredible derivative pyramid that has been built upon it, are the biggest in human history, so will be the repercussions.

And just as most of us cannot believe anyone could be so horrible as to commit mass murder, we are even less willing to believe that Evil would willingly sacrifice millions of people, or even billions of them in the pursuit of wealth and power.

Sadly, the truth is far worse. From the authors of the UN ‘Agenda 21’ blueprint, to self-proclaimed ‘environmentalists,’ there are vasts numbers of insiders who truly believe that “every means necessary” are justified in order to cut the world’s population to a tiny fraction of what it already is. That means billions must die. Somebody else, of course, and they, like other worshipers of death before them, are charged with making it happen.

Those with a Biblical world-view will understand that such a mentality can be described in many ways, but “utterly satanic”, is close to the top of that list.

The wheels are already in motion. The judgment of YHVH is not always immediate, in a way that respects our human-scale reckoning of time, but it is inevitable. If the ‘times and seasons’ leading to the prophetic climax of Scripture were to be described as being played on a chess board, we appear to be nearing the end game.

Which is why it is important for us to KNOW these times and seasons. Not only are we told repeatedly to “fear not,” to stand, to overcome, and to be counted worthy to escape the things we can now see coming – we should be ‘watchmen on the wall,’ as well. Part of the solution, in other words, rather than part of the problem.

But if we are understandably reluctant even to ADMIT the degree of Evil in the world today, facing up to it is clearly harder.

That is why a study of the story of the Exodus is so helpful. The sons of Israel, too, were in bondage, and faced a mighty empire. And much like the face of Evil today, which sees itself as “above the law”, virtually godlike in power and self-importance, willing to order murder, and certainly seems to echo the sentiment of Pharaoh so as to say, “Who is this ‘Yahuah’ ? I know Him NOT!”

…they are playing chess against the Master Himself.

In Pharaoh’s final moves, he is lured into a deadly trap, while consumed with a blood lust that he seems convinced will lead to the destruction of those who have vexed him. He is outplayed…and in such a way that Scripture declares that even the Egyptians will “know that I AM YHVH.”

The verses that have become known as the “Song of Moses” reveal an understanding that I contend is vital to our ability to “face up to Evil:”

YHVH is a man of war: YHVH is His Name. (Exodus 15:3)

The sages explain that those words carry more than a casual reading might imply. YHVH is a MASTER of war. But this might even be one of those occasions where a colloquial English rendering might be more instructive than the direct translation of the original Hebrew.

Try it this way:

“He’s da MAN!!! When it comes to making war – He IS the Master.”

Pharaoh was playing chess way out of his league. And so are those today who think they can outmaneuver THE ‘Master of war.’

That should be comforting for those of us who know Him, and seek to serve Him. So should the fact that the very same segment of Scripture which proves that point refers to Him as “YHVH Nissi”, meaning our “Banner”, or “Standard” and ALSO as Yahuah Rapha, our Healer.

The admonition that Moses gave to the people of Israel who saw the army of Pharaoh bearing down on them still applies, too:

“Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of YHVH…”

Remember, though, that they still had to WALK through the waters themselves.

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