The snarls of a sinister enemy snaked through the goodness of Eden, deviously plotting the downfall of the Almighty who had cast him from His glorious presence.
How the enemy loved himself. How he loathed the Almighty.
Humanity would pay the price of the enemy’s sickening self-love by carrying his pride in their hearts, grooming it, making it their own, then calling it righteousness by justifying their selfish pride to the Almighty. Perfectly mimicking the enemy’s craft which had earned him ejection from The Presence.
“I’ll make it appealing”, the enemy drooled with demonic delight darkening his eerie eyes. Love for self, hatred for others. His breathing slowed as his shadow fell across Eve’s innocent face as she delighted in the husband she’d been lovingly given by the Maker. “I’ll make them murderers of one another as they feast frenetically upon the lusts of their flesh”, his callous thoughts crept through him as quickly as the greed glowed in his belly. “Almighty will not have the final word. I will make His beautiful creation suffer. In killing them, I will kill Him”.
Then, adorning his luscious invitation with a lethal portion of deception, the enemy lured Eve with a single question meant to draw her into his grasp and under his oppression. “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1) For if you question God and His goodness, you question everything.
We know the rest of the story. Innocent Adam and Eve ensconced in Eden’s luscious beauty, wide eyes curious at the heavy fruit in hand.
Death had snatched Life away.
Perfection had now fallen under the monstrosity of ominous oppression.
Corruption held the scepter and the enemy laughed, sure of his venomous victory.
The world wouldn’t need to learn to hate, kill, lust, thieve, gossip, eye-roll, bicker, and mock for oppression was now written into their DNA.
Natural man would take after their new father and sin’s self-love would spread like an uncontrollable wildfire, ravaging, killing, destroying everything from atoms to earthworms to bodies with earthquakes, poison, divorce, genocide, slavery, abortion, addiction, and the like. Nothing was untouched by oppression’s insidious sickness.
How do we identify oppression?
We look for the darkness.
We look for the absence of Light.
On the grand scale and the small ones. As we look at the nations and inside the isolated islands of our homes, oppression rages on. Cancer, mental illness, abuse, tragedy, complaining, bitterness, anger, slander, murder. It hides its snarling sickness in rage and rape and behind the gruesome masks of bigotry, prejudice, pretentious piety, and chauvinism. Oppression’s enslavement marks us all; it’s meant to kill, demean, and destroy for Sin and Death are its father.
The enemy hates the Almighty and oppresses His people.
The Almighty hates the work of the Father of Lies and every single act of oppression.
But lest we walk away with the ludicrous assumption the enemy and the Almighty are equal in force, hear the Word of the Lord.
Then the earth shook and quaked;
the foundations of the mountains trembled;
they shook because he burned with anger.
Smoke rose from his nostrils,
and consuming fire came from his mouth;
coals were set ablaze by it.
He bent the heavens and came down,
total darkness beneath his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew,
soaring on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his hiding place,
dark storm clouds his canopy around him.
From the radiance of his presence, his clouds swept onward with hail and blazing coals. The Lord thundered from heaven; the Most High made his voice heard.
He shot his arrows and scattered them;
he hurled lightning bolts and routed them.
The depths of the sea became visible, the foundations of the world were exposed,
at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
He reached down from on high
and took hold of me;
he pulled me out of deep water.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out to a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
For you rescue an oppressed people,
but you humble those with haughty eyes.
(Psalm 18:7-19, 27)
Long before the crafty serpent had even considered the plot of his disastrous deceit in Eden, the Almighty already knew of Satan’s vile plan, and He’d already decided to sacrifice Himself for His people.
Yes, Satan plotted to slay humanity pressing them farther and farther from the Father who lovingly crafted them to enjoy relationship with Him.
But in a radical act of unfathomable humble love, the Almighty allowed Himself to be slain by the sinners, then rise again to conquer sin and death forever. Death had been swallowed whole by Life! (1 Corinthians 15:54)
Yes, oppression’s foul stench is everywhere in our world, but the Light of the Victor shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5) As Christ-followers run toward the broken, the battered, the lonely, the fearful, and yes, even the angry and abusive, we bring with us, the victorious light of the One who has conquered Sin and Death forever.
Oppression’s power is vanquished by One Name, The Lord Jesus Christ.
See the oppression, surrender your own rebellion, and fearlessly carry the Light of Love by the power of Jesus into the world around you for nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
Whole Day 9
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