When I was young, let’s say ten years old or so, I spent a lot of summer days with my cousins, the Bennetts (Darrell, Susie, Billy, and Roger). Since both my parents worked, I didn’t have anyone to chaperone me when school was out. The solution was to let me spend the days at the Bennett house. Their mother, Betty Jean, was my dad’s older sister. She was a stay-at-home mom who had a P.H.D. in babysitting. Of course, the problem with that whole arrangement was the fact that my cousins and I never stayed in the house where she could adequately keep an eye on us. Instead, most of our time was spent out and about exploring the local woods.
A dilapidated old car sat in the woods just above the Bennett house. I didn’t know who the car belonged to at the time, but I’ve since learned that Betty Jean’s husband Bill had parked it there when the motor had gone bad. Trust me, he had no plans to fix that car. Its windows were all busted out, the interior was little more than a shell, and the whole thing was well on its way to rusting down completely. For all I know, what’s left of it is still sitting there.
One day as our crew was out patrolling the area we noticed that bees had built a huge nest inside that car. I’m thinking that it was a yellow-jackets nest, but it could have been hornets. I do vividly recall that the basketball-sized nest was located just above the driver’s side door. Naturally, kids being kids, we took it as a personal challenge to bring down that nest. It was just the kind of project for which lazy summer days are made.
After studying the nest for a while, we noticed that its one entrance was in the front at the bottom. Since bees were constantly flying in and out of that entrance, a frontal attack wasn’t advisable. So we made our way around to the car’s passenger’s side. I can’t remember if we opened the passenger door or if it was already off the hinges, but somehow we snuck our way inside that car and got behind that massive nest. Now the only question to be answered was, When we started pelting that nest with rocks, would those bees fly out the front or the back to attack? We gambled on the front, gathered our rocks, and cautiously, one kid at a time, began bombing the nest.
We grew more and more bold with each thrown rock because no matter where the rocks struck the nest, the bees flew out that one hole in the front. They just kept roaring out, stingers locked and loaded, seeking to deal with their attackers, but they couldn’t find us. The air was dark with them just outside that driver’s side window, but all remained clear on the other side of the car where we were. That allowed us to take turns easing inside the car and throwing our rocks. I can just picture us there, laughing like crazed madmen, as one by one we stoned that poor nest into oblivion. And throughout the entire affair not one of us got stung. If only we had channeled such genius toward purposes that were less mischievous and more productive for society. Oh well.
As I think back upon that day from my childhood, I’m reminded that we Christians oftentimes have our own trouble figuring out where the attacks upon us are coming from. We fly around, all stirred up and righteously indignant, but our holy zeal is misdirected and our efforts ultimately fail. Why? It’s because we have trouble locating our true attacker. And just who is our true attacker? It’s Satan. The abortionists are carrying out his agenda. The gambling industry is doing his bidding. He convinces the homosexuals that what they are doing is morally acceptable. He energizes the pornographers. He inspires the producers and directors of filthy television shows and Hollywood movies. He is the power behind the throne of evil dictators and warmongers. Yes, he’s the one who is constantly bombing us and thus creating the mess that we call this world.
Notice carefully what the Bible teaches in the following passages:
Then Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him (Elymas the sorcerer) and said, “O full of all deceit all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:9-10)
In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10)
“You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do…” (John 8:44)
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)
So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world… (Revelation 12:9)
You see, Christian, the one who is bombing our nest from behind is Satan and the people he uses to accomplish his work are merely the rocks thrown from his hand. I’m not excusing these people or letting them off the hook for their sins. Surely God will hold each one accountable for his/her actions. I’m simply pointing out that, in a very real sense, these folks don’t even do their own bidding. They think they are free and liberated to do as they please, but in truth they aren’t independent at all. Satan has them deceived. He has their minds blinded. They want to do the desires of his heart rather than the desires of their own hearts.
Please remember this, Christian, whenever you find yourself out there on the front lines of the cultural war. It’s so easy to despise or hate the people who think and act in ungodly ways. But don’t let yourself fall into the trap of failing to see them for who they really are. They are pawns in the hands of an evil lord. They are puppets dancing on the strings of a wicked puppeteer. They are children whose minds have become warped under the tutelage and training of their twisted father. They are the victims of a sinister brainwashing carried out by a master in the art. Again, I’m not attempting to alleviate them from all their guilt and accountability. There’s no doubt that each of them currently stands under the foreboding shadow of God’s impending judgment. I just want you to understand that the one who is doing the actual rock throwing is Satan.