Why should we be delivered? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
There is some debate on if this passage means evil in general or the evil one, meaning the devil, in particular. For our purposes, it really doesn’t matter. That’s a great textual debate I have no wish to dive into. Let’s just sum it up. We are to be delivered in some way.
Note that this comes right after the part about leading us not into temptation. Temptation is always to something that we shouldn’t do. This is why James says that no one should say that God is tempting them. God will test us sometimes, but He does not tempt us.
This is also a reference then to the coming kingdom. We are to long for that time when the Kingdom comes so that evil will be abolished. We are to eagerly anticipate that. We see evil all around us and we want it to be gone. Praying this part of the prayer is asking for that to happen.
Yesterday I saw a little boy with crutches walking because of some condition I couldn’t identify. I immediately thought about what a great day to come when that boy is able to walk normally. I wondered about how it might be difficult in the future to see all the kids running and not be able to yourself. Would he have a problem with getting a girlfriend in the future and marrying and having kids? This isn’t to say a physical disability can’t keep you from that. My friend, J. Parker, wrote something on that yesterday.
Many of you reading this blog disagree with me on various points. Some of you disagree with me on Christianity. What all of us will agree with I am sure is that we all have a problem with the way the world is. We all want something to be different. It could be a minor thing or a major thing. It could be political, religious, spiritual, physical, etc.
When we ask us for us to be delivered, we are asking for rescue. We are asking for salvation. Salvation is about more than just us though. It’s asking for recreation of the whole world. We are not wanting us to just be evacuated from the planet so God can destroy it because “Well, it was a good idea at the time but evil ruined it so let’s go to plan B of Heaven.”
God made this world to be lived on and He hasn’t changed His mind. He made this cosmos for Him to dwell in and He hasn’t changed His mind. The plan has never once been scrapped. If anything, everything is going according to plan. This is God’s story. It’s not ours.
We all long for that world. We long for some sort of perfection. C.S. Lewis said that if I have a desire so strong that nothing in this world can meet it, maybe I was made for another world. That’s true of us. We all seek deliverance from evil. That’s why many of us fight it regularly and why superhero movies are so popular. We all want evil to be stopped.
Yet we can’t do it on our own. It will require God to truly eliminate evil. While we are to do our part, the prayer is asking for God to bring His kingdom so that evil can be finally abolished once and for all. We do not give up or surrender to evil, but we do realize we can’t fight it without God.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)