Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us

Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Pure Evil

The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother. On hearing of this, John’s disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. (Mark 6:26-29, NIV)

Somewhere in the world today a follower of Jesus Christ is laying down his or her life to an unjust executioner. Believers are killed for no other reason than their fidelity to the Lord.

The poet James Russell Lowell put it this way: “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.” Herod of Galilee sat on such a throne of wrong.

There’s no legal charge against John, no trial, no appeal. Herod dispatches an executioner to sever John’s head and bring it back into the banquet hall.

The Gospel writers never play on our emotions in telling this story. They don’t delve into feelings but instead let the readers form their own conclusions. And we have. These people were pure evil. Herod was a cruel despot. The daughter was complicit in murder. Herodias may have gotten John’s head, but she lost her own heart in the process.

John’s disciples are another story. They show courage and loyalty. These unnamed disciples who stuck with the Baptist could not accept that their prophet’s body would be thrown out somewhere in a dump as trash. They showed courage in risking their own lives to take his headless corpse and bury it.

I pray daily for a young widow serving the Lord faithfully in a country where her husband, a minister of the gospel, was summarily executed with a shot to the head at point blank range with a pistol. His crime? He followed Jesus. This widow, with her young daughter, continues to serve Jesus faithfully in the very town where her husband was shot down. Like John’s followers, she is filled with courage and loyalty.

How do we face injustice? Do we throw up our hands and say, “God has abandoned us!” Do we become bitter or withdrawn?  Do we blame God?

No! We live with the long view. A day of justice is coming. Wrong may be on the throne and truth on the scaffold today, but not tomorrow. The next line in Lowell’s poem says: “Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown, stands God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.”

When terrible things happen to us, we are called to do exactly what John’s disciples and the young widow of a martyred husband did. In the face of pure evil, we look behind the visible to the invisible. We do not interpret God by our circumstances. We know that even if evil has scored a touchdown it can never win the game. When we have no control over what has happened to us, we can still control what happens in us. We can choose to live with loyalty and courage.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, when I experience injustice and evil may I respond like You. Help me to follow Your example. You allowed others to nail You to the cross, but You never crucified anyone. Let me not be overcome with evil, but rather, let me overcome evil with good.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. Visit On Your Mark at pe.ag.org for a link to On Your Mark video and audio podcasts with Dr. George O. Wood.

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.

On Your Mark

Previous Years


2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark


Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
Email your comments to pe@ag.org.