Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Deuteronomy, Chapter 25, Verse 17-18
17 Bear in mind what Amalek did to you on the journey after you left Egypt, 18 how he surprised you along the way, weak and weary as you were, and struck down at the rear all those who lagged behind; he did not fear God.
How shall we deal with truly evil people?
In Judaism, the Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews. In the Jewish folklore the Amalekites are considered to be the symbol of evil. This concept has been used by some Hassidic rabbis (particularly the Baal Shem Tov) to represent atheism or the rejection of God. Elliot Horowitz and Josef Stern suggest that Amalekites have come to represent an "eternally irreconcilable enemy" that wants to murder Jews, and that Jews in post-biblical times sometimes associate contemporary enemies with Haman or Amalekites, and that some Jews believe that pre-emptive violence is acceptable against such enemies.
The truly wicked are animals as the bible mentions they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Strong men and women whether laity or religious have a duty to protect the flock; they are the shepherds of the church that protect the weaker ones. Who are the Amalekites of our time; how shall we recognize them.
My spring edition of Be Not Afraid is now available at my estore.
According to Christian Counselor Lesie Vernick there are five indicators that you may be dealing with an evil heart rather than an ordinary sinful heart.
1. Evil hearts are experts at creating confusion and contention. They twist the facts, mislead, lie, avoid taking responsibility, deny reality, make up stories, and withhold information.
2. Evil hearts are experts at fooling others with their smooth speech and flattering words. But if you look at the fruit of their lives or the follow through of their words, you will find no real evidence of godly growth or change. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
3. Evil hearts crave and demand control, and their highest authority is their own self-reference. They reject feedback, real accountability, and make up their own rules to live by. They use Scripture to their own advantage but ignore and reject passages that might require self-correction and repentance.
4. Evil hearts play on the sympathies of good-willed people, often trumping the grace card. They demand mercy but give none themselves. They demand warmth, forgiveness, and intimacy from those they have harmed with no empathy for the pain they have caused and no real intention of making amends or working hard to rebuild broken trust.
5. Evil hearts have no conscience, no remorse. They do not struggle against sin or evil—they delight in it—all the while masquerading as someone of noble character.
Hmm…sounds like politicians to me? I would like to finish with some thoughts of Saint John Paul II on the subject.
I once again address the leaders of nations and all men and women of good will, who recognize the need to build peace in the world…"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (12:21). Evil is never defeated by evil; once that road is taken, rather than defeating evil, one will instead be defeated by evil.
When Our Lord overcame the Devil in the wilderness, He quoted Scripture. In Scripture, the Devil and his demons go by several names and are portrayed by several vivid images, each one pointing to some important aspect of their nature and activity. To know these names and images is to understand better the kind of opponents we face in spiritual warfare.
· The Devil, literally, “one who hurls [himself] across” the path of God’s plan; Mt 4: 1.
· Satan, literally, “adversary, attacker”; Job 1: 6; Mt 4: 10.
· Beelzebul, the prince of demons, the name of a pagan Canaanite god meaning “the Prince-God”; the Jews interpreted the word as “prince of demons” because they identified false gods with demonic spirits; Mt 12: 24– 27. The form Beelzebub, used in some Bible translations, is a contemptuous adaptation of the name that means “Lord of the flies”; see also Baalzebub as a reference to the Canaanite god in 2 Ki 1: 2– 6.
· The Serpent, the malicious intruder in the Garden of Eden who led our first parents into sin; Gn 3: 1; Rv 12: 9.
· Demon, from the ancient Greek term for a lesser deity; St. Paul identified such pagan gods with demonic spirits; 1 Cor 10: 20– 21.
· Unclean spirit, in the sense of morally unclean or impure; Mt 10: 1.
Call upon the aid of St. Joseph, the terror of demons; when you cannot resist the evil of Thriller.
Thigpen, Paul. Manual for Spiritual Warfare. TAN Books.
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