This song was written many eons ago, in 1977. But it appears to be incredibly prophetic. I remember hearing it as a kid and saying, “Really? Things aren’t that bad.”
Yes. Yes, they are.
We don’t like to talk about evil. In fact, we minimize it. Kids cartoons and comic books have made a ton of money with “good” vs. “evil”, good guys fighting bad guys. Batman and Robin and The Joker. Spider-Man and the Lizard or Dr. Octopus. Wonder Woman and Circe (borrowed from Homer’s The Odyssey). The good guys win. Bad guys either die or run home, tails tucked between their legs. Yay!
Our fairy tales feature the same themes – Cinderella, Snow White (what is up with the evil stepmothers anyway? Not-so-subtle misogyny?), Beauty and the Beast. Good behavior – and great beauty – triumph over evil. Ta-da!
But evil isn’t so easily defeated.
The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines evil this way:
Definition of EVIL
That title even looks evil! Geez. I can honestly say I haven’t known anyone personally who I’d describe as evil. Maybe my 5th grade math teacher. I’ve known people who seem to be “marked by misfortune”. Usually, though, upon consideration, they have made poor choices into the bargain. Sure, I’ve known plenty of jerks, know-it-alls and dim bulbs. But that’s not the same as someone whose consistent goal is to harm others.
We’ve seen it in action, though. The Boston Marathon bombings. The Sandy Hook Elementary shootings. Pedophiles moving into a neighborhood near you. Kidnappings. Rapes. Murders. Evil is out there. People do horrible things to each other. And, friends, these things will continue to escalate as the time for Jesus’ return draws closer.
All of us have the potential to be evil. The “evil impulse” arises from our sin nature. We want to lash out, verbally or physically, at the person who hurt us. We want to be in control of the outcome for once. We want it our way! We find if we give in to these impulses, they become harder to curtail. All of us have run up against our sin nature. We must be alert.
I don’t have much more to say about this. But I do believe in the devil and I know he is real. His influence is felt throughout our world. It is possible to turn our backs on God and become evil. Yet it says in I John 4:4: But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. I’ll take God as my hero any day. He is our only true hope.