When was the last time you were exposed to a deeper understanding of just how much evil exists in this world? Has a mission trip or a documentary or a movie opened your eyes to a new level of wickedness that befalls the earth, right now or in the past?
I remember when I was a chaperone for one of my children’s school tripsto the 6th floor Museum in Dallas, Texas. The day we were visiting they had aspecial exhibit on the 7th floor. It was an exhibit of Pulitzer Prize winningphotographs. I climbed up the steps alone to see the exhibit. I started walkingthrough the rows of photographs and after I was about a quarter of the way through,I chose to leave. I didn’t want to see more. I couldn’t stand tolook at another photo. I discovered that the Pulitzer Prize winning photos wereof the worst atrocities experienced by man. The most horrible ones were the executionsor other mistreatment of humans by humans. There were photos of car accidents,the devastation left after a storm and more. As I walked back down the stairs,I realized that there is One who cannot escape the view of this whole exhibitand the many other horrors that no photographer captured. That One is God. Hesees and knows it all. Why? He has to know greater evil because of His love forus and His utter unwillingness to lose one of His own.
Since then, I force myself to take in what I can of the realities of this world.I force myself to read all the way through my Compassion magazinewhich contains stories of the realities that children face in third world countries.They are not meant to be gory, but they reveal the need for the work of thatministry and many others.
All this has gotten me thinking about that tree of the knowledge of good andevil. God had the knowledge of evil, and He didn’t want us to have it.Why? Because He loves us. It was good not to know the evil. When we gained thisknowledge, the evil that already existed in the universe multiplied to what weknow today which could always become more appalling tomorrow.
Some question the goodness of God in that He knows what terrors are happeningto people and He doesn’t stop them. How could a just God be so unjust?I ask, "How can God love and honor us so much as to have a big enough stomachto keep looking and keep offering hope to us in the traps of knowing good andevil?” It might make perfect sense to me that if the world just ended,evil would end with it. But it made perfect sense to Eve that if she had knowledgeof good and evil she would become a better living being. I think I will go withGod on this one. If there was a better way to deal with the problem of havinga knowledge of good and evil rather than Jesus Christ dying, being resurrectedand offering the perfect sacrifice for evil, then I’m going with that one.When I am face to face with the most horrific realities of sin, I can only reston the fact that there was no other way to redeem this universe than throughJesus Christ.
Regarding the evil that exists in the world, I will do my part to help fightagainst what I can. That is the part God asks of me. He has done the rest throughJesus Christ.
I will hope as Paul told us in Romans 8:18,
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”