I remember riding on the school bus and having that first horrible swear word directed at me. My mother knew something was wrong the moment I stepped off the bus. I was quite dazed and I couldn’t repeat the word to my mom, but she figured it out, and, then, she gave me a bath. Though I had been taking my own baths for quite some time, her comforting words, her soothing voice, and the loving-kindness of my mother washed away the evil that had exposed itself to me. Once again, I was safe in the cocoon of the godly home where I was raised. We weren’t perfect and everyone didn’t live happily ever after, yet, but evil was watched for and it was not consciously allowed in our home. Many popular television programs from that time were simply not permitted on our television. My parents were on guard against evil in any form. Satan’s grip was to be feared and my mother and father seemed to believe Proverbs 1:32 when it said, “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them and the complacency of fools destroy them.” We, their children, were naive and they, our parents, were on constant vigil for us and they were not fools.
We can all look at our own lives and the evil we permit without my naming off all of the popular ways we are saturated by it. The ugly word I heard on the school bus that day doesn’t even cause me to flinch, anymore. An athlete with no honor can so easily become an icon. Homosexuality, something I couldn’t even grasp until high school, is found, literally, in my next door neighbor. Things that once made me weak in the knees are of no surprise. When King David said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil,” he still regarded Satan as a serious adversary – the roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. David didn’t learn to deal with evil so fearlessly because he was accustomed to it and it was longer something to be feared. David, the man after God’s own heart, did not pitch his tent in the valley of the shadow of death, just because he had overcome his fear of the evil therein. David recognized evil, though, and he was aware of its presence.
Now, consider Abraham’s nephew, Lot. He was a man whose family was residing in a land so entrenched in the throes of debauchery around them that men were knocking at his door, demanding that Lot allow them to defile the very angels he was entertaining. Can you imagine the horrors right outside Lot’s door? Yet his family had become so entangled in their existence within those cities that burned behind them that they lost one of their own while fleeing the flames of Sodom and Gomorrah. Be responsible for the innocent, shed complacency and refuse to be destroyed.