Facing Evil Times

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How do we face evil times? First of all, we need to understand the source of evil. The reason why the Babylonians were out extorting, plundering, killing and using people, and the reason why you and I do so much of what we do - if you know your own heart, you know to a great degree it is because we are TOO PROUD to entrust the Creator with our emptiness and we instead trust in our own creation. Habakkuk 2:18, 19 -

18 “Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it TRUSTS IN HIS OWN CREATION;; he makes idols that cannot speak. 19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.”

And so we are attacked by the demons of fear and anxiety - we want to swagger and bluff, and we look everywhere for people to use, to scapegoat, or to buttress our shaky ego that this pride has created. This is the Babylonian way.

Second, we also need comfort to face evil times. Sometimes the chaos is so intense that you can't help but wonder if we are beyond hope. In the midst of the darkness, Habakkuk writes v.20, "BUT the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.” What does that mean? It means, that on the one hand, you can really screw up your life, and you’re decisions count, and you’re responsible for them, AND YET, God says, “I have a plan that will overrule all evil, all bad choices, I’m going to have my purposes for you and for the world fulfilled.” How can that be? It sounds contradictory. Scholars call this an antimony. Antimonies are apparent contradictions. They just looks like a contradiction, unlike paradoxes which are contradictory. One classic example of an antimony is light. Light is a wave. Light is a particle. How can they be both? We don’t know. It’s an apparent contradiction, but that’s just the way it is.

We have a tendency to say, “If God is in control of everything, we are just puppets and we cannot help the mess that we are making.” Or we think, “If my decisions count, then it IS possible for me/us to mess up history, mess up god’s plan.” That’s not true either. The Bible depicts a God that says, "You’re absolutely free and responsible for your choices, at the same time, you’re going to screw things up, BUT the LORD is in his holy temple, i.e., I’m overruling it all. Cause I am in charge. I’m sovereign.” HE NEVER LEAVES HIS THRONE. He never leaves his place of rule and control. That allows us to face evil with comfort - not panic. He’s always there. He’s controlling everything. No matter how much you muck it up.

~Ed Park