June 6, 2014 • By Ed Wrather
Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” - Esther 4:15-16 NKJV.
The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people. - Esther 9:2 NKJV.
Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them. - Esther 9:5 NKJV.
Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also. - Acts 12:1-3 NKJV.
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church - Acts 12:5 NKJV.
Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. - Acts 12:7 NKJV.
Today, June 6th, is the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion with some 150,000 allied troops taking part in the attack at Normandy, France. Allied casualties were 12,000 with 4,414 confirmed dead. German casualties have been reported at around 1,000. D-Day was a horrific part of World War II, but the horror was far greater than a single day. We can begin to understand a little of the horror of World War II by considering the total deaths during that war. Battle deaths are listed at 15 million. Battle wounded 25 million. Civilian deaths 45 million although in China alone civilian deaths are thought possibly to have been as high as 50 million people. These numbers are from www.nationalww2museum.org There are 41 countries reported as having suffered people being killed during the war; although, every country was affected to some degree. There was a very high horrific cost in confronting the evil Hitler had planned for this world. However, it is clear that the cost of not confronting that evil would have been far higher.
Evil did not disappear after World War II ended. There have been countless wars and conflicts across our world since then. There are still wars and conflicts today. The enemy has morphed into new faces and has new tactics of operation. Terror is the new face of evil which we have seen up close and personal in the many horrific bombings and other types of attacks like 9/11. However, evil is insidious, evil is sneaky, evil is evil and is lurking everywhere just below the surface. We have seen evil surface with the school shootings in the United States and other countries too, but in China they have had knife attacks. We have had the Tylenol poisonings, the Unabomber, and the rise of the cults. Just this week we learned of Slenderman and of the two 12-year-old girls stabbing another 12-year-old girl in an attempt to please this imaginary character that someone made up. Evil it appears is alive and well on planet Earth.
How do we confront evil? Sometimes evil must be physically confronted as with home invasions, carjackings, kidnappings, robberies, terror attacks, and in war. But I would submit to you that there was a supernatural war raging at the same time the physical war was raging during World War II. At the beginning of the war the Germans had better planes, batter tanks, better machine guns, they had rockets and were working on “heavy water.” They had better everything than the Allies had. In the Pacific, the war began with a devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese had the advantage with better planes and a much large fleet of ships. While the physical fight was being fought with guns, bullets, and blood the supernatural fight was being fought by millions of people on their knees in prayer.
Just because we do not see a physical manifestation of evil does not mean that evil does not exist and that it is not a threat to us personally and all that we love. We must engage in the battle against evil every day. We must pray, and pray hard every day for God to protect us from the evil that is lurking in the background waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Evil may not be as visible as it was during World War II, but it is perhaps an even more dangerous threat to us today. New weapons, new diseases, new avenues of temptation and new tactics are being used by a supernatural enemy. We must respond with the ageless weapon of prayer. Does prayer make a difference? Yes! Prayer has always been and still is a difference maker. Let us pray, and pray hard for all that we love and is good upon this Earth.