In arrogance the wicked hunts down the weak, The wicked blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. The wicked does not seek God; There is no room for God in the thoughts of the wicked. Their mouth is full of lies and threats; The wicked watch in secret for victims; like a lion in cover lying in wait to catch the helpless; The wicked catches the helpless and drags them off. Victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength. Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Psalm 10
Wicked! I’ll say it again – WICKED! I’m trying to stir up the evil this word should provoke, but I’ve seen the musical so many times, the word has been stripped of its evil edge.
I have so much trouble with this word. I don’t know why. As a repeated victim, I’ve met evil so why am I surprised when it hits me again and again? I often forget that wicked isn’t just a word reserved for witches on Halloween or that wicked isn’t just another word for sin. Satan is so crafty at luring me into a Pollyanna stupor denying the existence of evil. I skip through life, feeling safe and carefree and all of a sudden POUNCE! I’m face to face with evil!
Satan is real! As I type, the east coast is under siege. Hurricane Sandy 2012 “Frankenstorm” is threatening our safety, ready to crush the helpless – wicked! Is it an act of God or the devil? I don’t know.
Like most, when confronted by wickedness, I wrestle with God and not the devil. I pray like the psalmist for God to save me or the victim of violence. I know I don’t have the courage or strength to beat Satan.
Most struggle with God because very few believe in Satan. Why? The Bible confirms the existence of evil. Most agree rape, incest and bullying are wicked but Satan keeps us all in such a state of denial that when it occurs we try to explain it away – blame the victim or make excuses for the perpetrator. Many well-meaning anti-rape and anti-bullying efforts continue to keep the responsibility on the victim by advising the victim to stand up to their bullies or just ignore them which usually escalates the problem.
If rapists and bullies aren’t wicked? Who is wicked? Is wicked just another name for sin? Our scripture text states otherwise – the wicked revile God. The wicked abuse, hate, condemn and despise God. They do not seek God. They lie and threaten. Do these scriptures help us find and rid our world of evil?
There are dangers in declaring the wicked. The Bible warns that the wicked will plot against the righteous. Christ was accused of being a demon (wicked), he was killed because he was a threat.
Arthur Miller’s The Crucible portrays the risks of seeking the wicked. Many innocents died during the Salem witch hunts and many others were imprisoned during the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. History seems determined to repeat itself.
While society remains silent about rape and bullying, society eagerly calls other acts wicked and has no trouble rallying large groups to rid our world of the evils of homosexuality and abortion. In the past few months the church has become a place of division, hatred and anger. A few members of the church have become so passionate in their beliefs that they are bullying others, calling fellow sisters evil or wicked for defending (loving) homosexuals or expressing compassion for abortion victims. The bible does not give any member of the church the ability to declare the salvation of another. God thankfully is the only judge with Christ as our advocate.
I believe life begins at conception and I believe abortions make everyone a victim (mom, baby, doctor etc…). As a church we should intervene with love by providing support and help for mothers with unwanted pregnancies to find or create a safe, nurturing home for their babies.
As for same sex marriage, I don’t see how it threatens my marriage. Nor am I able to find any biblical justification to pronounce their sins greater than mine. Christ didn’t declare homosexuals wicked and the few anti-homosexual scriptures all admonish violent sexual behavior –rape!
I don’t presume to know God’s position about either issue. I have too many boards hanging out of my own eyes to judge anyone else.
But I am sure about what God calls me to do. In all four gospels, Jesus commands me to:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22, Mark 12, Luke 10, John 15)
And a message to the disruptive:
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12
And finally, a message for the Wicked:
The Lord laughs at the wicked,
for God knows their day is coming. Psalm 37: 13
Dear Lord thank you for your love. Make your church a safe gathering place for everyone to worship you! Help me to love my neighbor. Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Be with and wipe every tear of my sisters raped, bullied or abused! Do not give the wicked the last laugh. Amen.