While I appreciate how Doug Smith says we’ve got to deal with to the ripples of sin, I also understand Ari’s question: “Why doesn’t God just kill the Devil?”
Or like Fred Savage puts it to Peter Falk in The Princess Bride, “Who gets Humperdinck?”
When Ira hears how the civic leaders of Jezreel planned the murder of Naboth (1 Kings 21), he asks for a devil-free world. Maybe Raphael painted St. Michael Slaying the Dragon while he was listening to Ira. Or listening to me.
An angel steps down
But you read the plan, right? So you know the angel holds not a sword, but a key and a chain.
An angel steps down out of heaven, the key to the Abyss in one hand and a great chain in the other. He seizes that ancient serpent who is the devil and throws him into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:1
Maybe you understand why I want to get that angel on the phone:
“Just grab that chain and get on with it, would you! “
When a car killed Karen in front of our house. When a night driver drifted over and hit Bob on his bike. When Delphine’s eyes reached out to me as she died. When an accident sent Gloria to lie in bed all her days. When the cancer moved to Carolyn’s brain. When Mimi said she was dying.
“Be of good cheer,” Jesus says, “For I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) And because I appreciate his victory, the cheer is there. Real and deep down.
Yet I still ask, “When?”
“When do we get to see it here in full form, Lord?” I’m right there with Motel Kamzoil in Fiddler on the Roof .
Now would be good
“Rabbi, we’ve been waiting for the Messiah all our lives. Wouldn’t now be a good time for him to come?”
“I guess we’ll have to wait someplace else,” the rabbi replied.
I’m a Christian, not a Jew. Yet I identify with the rabbi’s practical response. Move over. Get out of the way. Of course, like Doug says, the ripples still catch most of us.
In his Revelation (22:20-21), John quotes Jesus: “Soon,” He says, “I’ll be there soon.”
John replies, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
And then, maybe thinking of the ripples of sin and evil that would knock us down, John sends up this prayer:
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”