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Deliver Us From Evil

I’ve recently read Chris Wright’s The God I Don’t Understand (highly recommended, BTW).  In the first part of the book, he talks about the problem of evil in the world.  As he closes it out, he has some helpful words about the Lord’s prayer that helped me see it in a new way.  Have you thought of the words “Deliver us from evil” as a personal plea?  What if it is that, but also much more?

Wright says:

In the midst of all our struggles now, as we confront evils we cannot understand and as we cry out to the God we cannot fully understand, we are urged by Jesus himself to pray, “Deliver us from evil.”  More than merely a prayer for daily protection, that is a cosmic request that will one day be cosmically answered.  God will answer that prayer!  It will be fully answered at the moment when God answers two other phrases in the Lord’s Prayer:  “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”  (Matt. 6:10).

God is going to eventually destroy ALL evil.  “Deliver us from evil” is a personal plea for the here and now, but also a prayer for God to work out the reconciliation of all things and the remaking of creation with a new heaven and a new earth.

There is much evil in the world today, both worldwide and in our lives.  God is not content to simply let it be, but He is going to fix it all.  Wright’s words again:

When the reign of God extends over every corner of the universe, when the earth is filled with the knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea, when the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God of his Christ, when heaven and earth are renewed and united under the righteous rule of Christ, when the dweillings place of God is again with humanity, when the city of God is the centre of all redeemed reality – then we will have been delivered from all evil forever.

Wow!  Nothing we are going through is permanent.  Someday it will all be set right.  The evil we experience is only temporary.  And the Lord’s prayer is not just a prayer for today, but for cosmic redemption.

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