Why does evil flourish?

The darker this world gets, the brighter God’s glory will shine through His faithful people.

December 1

Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices; and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.

Daniel 8:12

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Why does evil flourish?

Daniel is given a vision of the near future. He sees the overthrow of the Medo-Persian Empire by the Greek Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s pre-mature death, the Greek Empire is divided into four sections ruled by four generals. The ‘little horn’ of our text for today is likely Antiochus IV Epiphanes. One of the things that Epiphanes did was to cause the Temple worship to cease and replaced it with all sorts of terrible forms of pagan worship.

In our verse for the day, we are told that the army of heaven was restrained from destroying him. That creates a fascinating picture of heaven. It is as though the armies of heaven are looking down upon the earth and when they see this evil taking place, their immediate response is to come down and destroy the offender. Their zeal for the holiness of God’s Temple burns hot within them. This scene will be repeated by the Antichrist during the Tribulation period.

They are restrained from destroying this terribly wicked man. It is fairly obvious in the text that there is a significant battle taking place between the forces of evil and the armies of God. For some reason God restrains them. A couple of things can be learned from this. First, if they had not been restrained, the armies of God would have destroyed this evil man and his evil forces. We should never assume that just because God doesn’t do something that He can’t do it. There is nothing that God can’t do.

The second thing is much harder to understand, regardless how long you have walked with the Lord. He will allow some evil people to continue in the world and even allow them to prosper. The ‘horn’ in our verse for the day succeeded in everything it did. We will probably not fully understand why God allows that until we get to heaven.

God does allow the darkness of evil to continue and even to succeed in driving out the light of His truth from the world. One of the reasons why He does this is so that His light will shine that much brighter from those who cling to the truth. We might look around the world today and see what seems to be a similar scenario of the darkness and evil succeeding in this world. As carriers of the light of God’s truth we need to shine brightly to all those around us.

While the times that we live in are getting darker by the day, they are not even a shadow of what the end-times are going to be like. Even the terrible things that Epiphanes did will pale in comparison. We don’t know when those terrible times might start, and thankfully as believers we will not be made to endure them, but those who are left behind will have to endure evil that is unrestrained in this world. It is up to us to shine as brightly as we can so that those we love know the truth. Jesus, help us to get rid of anything that blocks Your light from our lives.

Daily Bible Reading:
Read: Daniel 8:1-27; 1 John 2:1-17; Psalm 120:1-7; Proverbs 28:25-26

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