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Nothing Evil Catches the Lord by Surprise

By Bob Slosser Columnist

CBN.comOsama bin Laden showed himself inside out on television Sunday shortly after the United States sent forces into Afghanistan to punish the cruel leaders of that impoverished land, not the Afghan people themselves. The Taliban, which harbors bin Laden and his infamous network of terrorists and lies about it, and the terrorists themselves were the targets. One weeps at the inevitability of suffering by the common people, who may be trapped in the crossfire or else abused by the ugly Taliban, who probably will use them as shields.

Bob Schieffer of CBS News undressed bin Laden immediately after seeing the video the conceited monster sent out. He was amazed at the terrorist’s ignorance of his enemy, the U.S. and its freedoms. Bin Laden doesn’t begin to understand freedom, especially of religion and speech. Americans don’t pray and worship God, he said. Shoot them, he added. Furthermore, they say anything they want to, he said. Stop them! How do you like those freedoms, folks? That’s the foundation of evil. The Big Lie, just like Satan; then destruction, brutality, murder. No wonder everyone around him is scared all the time. Fear is the name of the game.

Schieffer, a nice Texan (oxymoron?) who is a terrific newsman but has too many friends who are Democrats -- nailed bin Laden perfectly. He is evil. Let me assure you that the Lord is not afraid. He’s had a lot of practice, remember. The Bible talks a lot about evil in its closing pages. I am only observing. It also talks a lot about it – its origin, for example – in the very early pages. I’m centering on the early pages.

After the creation, man -- who started out in His image and was pronounced "very good" when surveyed with everything -- turned sour, as God knew he would. Still, He was disappointed and broken-hearted.

First there was the Fall, which Satan brought about directly and Eve and Adam responded directly. The first pair knew they were guilty, and they committed mankind’s first effort to cover up sin themselves by making shoddy leaf-coverings (Genesis 3:7, NIV). It didn’t work. Notice it was God who made skins of living creatures to clothe their shame.

Time went on, and matters got out of hand. Mankind got worse and more. Cain slew Abel, a man of faith (Hebrews 11:4) -- through deceit, anger, and jealousy, because Abel’s gift pleased God more than his. But the time came when Eve bore another son, Seth – one "in place of Abel, since Cain killed him." And Seth in due time bore Enosh, who, since Cain was alienated, could carry on the family line. Enosh’s name, like Adam’s, meant man. And, the Bible says tersely, "Men began to call on the name of the Lord" (Genesis 4:25-26).

But, remember, Cain, whose sin was virtually nonstop impiety, also had children and grandchildren, and they spelled trouble, especially Lamech, a haughty man who multiplied his wives and brought polygamy into history, contrary to God’s intention. He also killed a man for wounding him. Recalling God had said Cain was to be avenged seven times should anyone kill him, Lamech bragged that he was to be avenged "seventy-seven times." And he was only injured.

This might be a time to note that Osama bin Laden, with 50 siblings, himself has four wives. It is also only fair to note that Lamech’s first son was Noah, from whom the world after the flood is descended. Noah, of course, was "a righteous man" who "walked with God" (Genesis 5:28-29 & 6:17).

Before telling Noah to get busy, "God saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time." I believe God may have felt similarly on September 11. In Noah’s time God "was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain." He decided to wipe mankind and all creatures from the earth (Genesis 6:5-7). Then Noah "found favor in the eyes of the Lord," and you know that story.

But, guess what? After the flood and the arrogance of the Tower of Babel in Shinar -- the land of southern Mesopotamia, later known as Babylonia (remember Babylon?) or Chaldea – wouldn’t you think the people of the world would be straightened out? Ask bin Laden.

No, God first said he would "never again . . . curse the ground because of man" or "destroy all living creatures, as I have done." Nonetheless, He said "every inclination" of man’s heart "is evil from childhood" (Genesis 8:21b). Can you believe it? Man’s evil was still there even though mankind was virtually wiped out. And it is still here today. Man wants to run the other way from where God is going. Yes, he does, good people. It cannot be denied.

True, not everyone is Osama bin Laden, but we all, until turning to and receiving the grace of God, want to do it our way. Sadly, too many become bin Laden followers and supporters.

But, beloved, rampant evil has been handled before by God, and it still can be. What we need is revival throughout the world. The Lord has not told me yet that revival definitely is coming soon, but I sure go along with it and will work as hard as I can to do what God wants. In the words of A.W. Tozer, a giant of a leader:

Everything in the world is wrong

Until God sets it right.

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