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|The Nightly News, Evil People,
and Psalm 37
By: Dr. Skip Myers
web posted Septmeber 5, 2005
I watched with utter horror as another storm raced through and ravaged the southern part of our nation. The news footage out of New Orleans vividly shows the devastation caused by this latest hurricane. Those who stayed emerge from shelters to a horrifying sight. Those who fled returned to find their life’s work demolished. I cannot imagine the suffocating hopelessness felt by our fellow countrymen.
In the midst of human loss and suffering, there enters into our living rooms each night a parade of those who take advantage of the pain of others. The nightly news shows images of looters as they carry off whatever isn’t tied down or hasn’t floated away. Surrounded by human need and endless opportunities to help, they choose to magnify the pain and suffering by helping themselves to what others have worked a lifetime to achieve.
As these images flash in front of my mind, I have to work hard for them not to effect my spirit. I am sure you have had encounters with others who have used such displays of evil to discount everything from the possibility of human goodness to the very existence of God. When we are confronted with such stark reminders of the power of evil it does have an impact on us. It is virtually impossible not to let it sink into our minds encasing our very lives in pessimism.
There is hope! There is a power greater than those images presented to us each night. There is an explanation although it is one too simple for our scientifically oriented minds to accept. It all comes back to a Garden, a piece of fruit on a tree, and choice. We made the wrong choice. Now sin comes to us naturally. No one teaches us to do wrong and take advantage of others. It comes as standard equipment.
Before you toss this article aside in utter frustration wondering why I haven’t told you something you don’t already know, let me get to the part about hope. You see, evil never takes God by surprise and He doesn’t want His children to live their lives in despair. That is the very foundational reason for the hope that is in a personal relationship with the Lord. When we apply the Lord to the equation, things make more sense. Just think what this world would be like if God was not represented by the Church and His children.
The Psalms are filled with theological answers and insights. In them, we get a definition of God unlike any other book. In the 37th Psalm, the Lord assures us that, while evil will always be present in our fallen world, it will never have the final say. We may for a time have to endure looters and an endless line of the creatively sinful, but rest assured our God will win. He has already won through His Son and the miracle to it all is that He shares this victory with each one who will come to Him in faith.
When you are confronted with the nightly parade of evil, take the advice from these assorted verses found in Psalm 37: “Do not fret because of evildoers; be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread. (verses 1,2,3,4,8,25)
I encourage you to read this entire Psalm. Remember, the Lord has you here for a purpose and that is to show forth the superior strength of righteousness. (Righteousness meaning a right relationship with the Lord.) But when you feel weakened in the face of overwhelming portrayals of evil, find renewed strength in the truth of God’s plan for your life. It is a plan held, maintained, and protected by the Lord Himself. No looter can carry that away.
Please continue to pray for those effected by this recent hurricane. Pray as they put their lives back together. Pray for the churches and their members as they take advantage of this opportunity to instill hope and share the Truth.
Dr. Myers is Pastor of Smiths Station Baptist Church, Smiths Station Alabama and a former Youth Minister of Sweetwater Baptist Church (1981-1986)
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