The Implosion of Evil

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 64

Their own tongues will ruin them,
    and all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
Psalm 64:8 (NLT)

Wendy and I spent a quiet Thanksgiving Day at home yesterday, just the two of us. In the morning we found ourselves in a wonderful, meandering conversation. At one point we rhetorically asked ourselves how many people around the country would be sitting down to Thanksgiving meal to truly enjoy a grateful feast and how many would sit down to the same feast to medicate the emptiness and the dissatisfaction I pondered in yesterday’s post. There is a difference between feasting and gluttony. So it is with so many things in life, Wendy and I concluded. God gives us a natural appetite meant for our good, and then says, “I’ve set before you life and death.” We can choose to channel that appetite to things that ultimately bring about more fullness of life and glorify our Creator, or we can channel that appetite into choices that slowly drain life from us, ultimately leading us toward death.

I thought about that conversation as I read the lyrics of today’s psalm which was David’s exploration and meditation on evil people. I found the above verse interesting because it is a theme I see time and time again from Narnia to Middle Earth to Hogwarts and to Shakespeare’s entire catalog of stories. Evil ends up imploding from within. While the forces of good always rise up to combat it, evil tends to get tripped up in its own snares  and to bring about its own destruction.

This is part of the universal Truth of God’s creation. Evil cannot not make, it can only mar. Evil stands in opposition to good just as death stands in opposition to life. Like the wicked described in today’s psalm, evil lies and deceives to further its own ends only to get tripped up by its own lie. At its core, evil is about destruction. It’s no wonder it ends up destroying itself. Good is about creating and recreating life. It’s no wonder it ends up redeeming, restoring and making broken things new again.

I am reminded this morning of God’s words to Moses and the gang in Deuteronomy 30. This is what I’m taking with me into my day:

“This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life….”

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