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When Evil Is Still At-Large

It is hard to believe that two years have passed. For many Americans, the mere mention of 9/11 dredges up debris that had sunk deep to the bottom of our souls. Wounds have been reopened. Grief has once again come crashing down on our heads. Anger has resurfaced because the brain-trust who orchestrated this tragedy are still at-large.

This brings up an interesting question. What do you do when those who have wronged you are still at large? Taking your anger to God is a good first step. David was far from perfect during his reign as King of Israel, yet he had faced his share of unfair attacks from evil men. At one point he poured out his frustration to God, “Give them the punishment they so richly deserve! Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness. Pay them back for all their evil deeds! Give them a taste of what they have done to others” (Psalm 28:4 NLT). It is not sinful to express your honest feelings to God. He knows your thoughts anyway, so being candid with Him does not scandalize Him.

The apostle Paul also endured many injustices. An interesting comment in his second letter to Timothy briefly reveals such an injustice. It reads, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds” (2 Timothy 4:14 NASB). That’s it! That’s all we know about Alexander the coppersmith. I would love to know what the problem was, but I suppose it is none of our business or we would have been told. From this we do learn that while those who harm us may still be at-large, one day the Judge will sit down call his court into session. Why does He delay this trial? Because He is gracious. He wants everyone to have ample opportunity to trust Christ for their salvation. Sometimes delaying makes no sense to me. I tend to want quick paybacks. Grace, however, doesn’t always make sense. If it did, we would all be in big trouble.

If God were to intervene and prevent every evil act from occurring, He would be forced to do what may be a greater disservice to us than not stopping evil:. He would be taking away our freedom to make choices. God would be eradicating the freedom we have to either respond to him in love or choose the self-justifying way of sin. God was willing to accept this risk of freedom in order to enjoy intimacy with us. No one can force intimacy to happen, not even God. It must be chosen, and there is always the hazard that overtures to intimacy will be rejected. That is the risk our Lover was willing to take. God weighed his options and decided He had rather enjoy intimacy with us from here through eternity to than to stop the evil that only plagues us temporarily.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.