“It’s a chemical imbalance!” “There was a trauma in his childhood.” “Society rejected her!” “Give them years of counseling with a skilled psychiatrist, and they’ll be ready to re-enter society.”
When bloody murder escalates in the summer heat, the experts interviewed by media use medical and psychological models to explain and understand the mayhem. The implication is that we can use the scientific method to discover the beginnings and causes of this disease, uncover the root causes of murder, then leave it to the experts to figure out how to end it. But what if there’s real, transcendent wickedness? What if one of its basic characteristics is pure chaos, senselessness, a focused passion to destroy?
This is where Heather Ledger got it partly right when he played the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” In a New York Times interview in July of 2008 he described his “Joker” as a “psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.” Even Ledger’s description used psych labels. The Bible does not. It calls the source of evil simply Satan, the Adversary, and those who choose at the core of their being to curse God and join this archenemy of the Triune God become “the wicked.”
Psalm 2 began Israel’s hymnbook exposing these adversaries of God and His Anointed. Near the end of the hymnbook, Psalm 139 returns to the reality of these opponents. It reveals the words God’s Anointed One prays when it comes to these bloodthirsty, wicked opponents.
“If only You would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me you men of blood! When they speak of You, it’s to devise plots against You. Your enemies lift up Your Name, but it’s for abusive purposes. Do I not utterly hate those who hate You, O LORD? Do not those who rebel against You disgust me? I abhor them. They’re my enemies.” - Psalm 139:19-22
This Psalm closes with the challenge again for God to search the writer’s innermost being to see if there is any wickedness inside. Jesus, the ultimate Son of David, the Messiah, is the only man who has ever lived who can take this kind of scrutiny by His Father and come out totally pure. And this is why His Father has turned all the judgment over to Him. Those who trust Him are resurrected to life. Those who remain His adversaries and become hardened in this opposition will also be raised, but to face His final judgment (John 5:22-29).
LORD, I love to picture Your Son as the One who is always ready to love and forgive. Help me to realize the teaching of this Psalm. Jesus did die so that anyone who comes to Him in humility and trust can be forgiven, but there is a person He hates. Help me not to minimize the deadly murderous reality of evil. Protect me today from the Adversary and those who follow him because my armor is Christ.
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