“But deliver us from evil.”
Galatians 1:4-5 says that Christ “gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age.”
St. Paul thought of his age as an evil one. What would he say about today?
Ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin, evil has been present in our world. Some people will say the world is becoming more evil. I’m not so sure. The world may be getting worse, or we may be more aware through 24/7, instant-access media. We have more ways to know about evil acts than ever before.
But is our world today the worst ever? Maybe … maybe not. We read some nasty things about the world centuries prior. The Old Testament describes cultures that performed human sacrifices. Some of the Bible’s narratives include incest, rape, adultery, and cold-blooded murder. Crucifixion was inhumane.
“Deliver us from evil” is a timely plea for today and for every age before us and after us until Christ returns.
I find Martin Luther’s explanation of this petition especially interesting. In his Small Catechism, Luther wrote that in this petition, we pray that “our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation.” That’s a broad definition. Evil harms us in many ways – physically, spiritually, and even socially (our reputation).
Galatians, cited earlier, was perhaps Paul’s first letter preserved in the Bible. His last is almost certainly 2 Timothy. In his second letter to young Pastor Timothy, Paul sees the light of life growing dimmer for himself. Yet his hope was as strong as ever, maybe even stronger. He wrote, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:18)
The evil one, Satan, and his accomplices in evil don’t stand a chance against Jesus. Satan’s time is short. He won’t go out quietly with dignity. He’ll go kicking and screaming. He’s going to cause as much trouble as he can for the limited time he has left.
The promise is true: “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
Your adversary is formidable. Your Ally is invincible, and His name is Jesus.
Tomorrow: For Thine is…
Yesterday: The Top 5 Temptations for Americans
Today, Wednesday, July 1, we’re opening the church from 7-8 p.m. for a guided prayer experience. It’s titled “Speak Up: Prayer Vigil for Healing and Peace in America.” We’ll be walking through the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and praying for specific needs in our nation.