Taking a brief break from Psalms to bring up the show LOST and their recent focus on good and evil. They are, in fact, personified by the characters Jacob and “the man in black.” Just like the MIB, the devil is powerful and very persuasive. However, he is limited and ultimately will not prevail.
I’ve been reading daily devotions by Greg Laurie and this week they have all been about the devil. I suggest checking them out here.
Here are the verses quoted:
Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. — Ephesians 6:11
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. — 1 John 4:4
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. — Matthew 6:13
The prevailing theme is that we shouldn’t take the devil lightly or dismiss him as a character from a children’s fable. A great line from the movie The Usual Suspects is “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” Make no mistake, he is very real and we are under attack by him – especially as believers in the Lord.
However, we have the Lord on our side who is willing and able to protect us from the snares of the devil. While the devil is very clever at manipulating us and putting obstacles along our straight and narrow path, he’s still very limited. He’s not omniscient like God, so he can’t truly know your heart and mind. Temptation will always be there like a bear trap in the woods, but God will show us the way around it if we simply pay attention to his guidance.
While I’m not sure about the theology behind the makers of the show LOST, I think they have done a good job of capturing the image of the devil incarnate. The MIB can’t enter the temple but he can convince someone else to do his dirty work for him. He is trapped by the island and by Jacob but he’s doing his best to cause trouble while he’s there. By the way, the Christ imagery surrounding Jacob is compelling too. He allows himself to be killed, only to appear to someone while dead and apparently to rise from the grave (as a boy?). I’m sure the imagery breaks down at some point, but it is fun to see it being played out on the screen. Perhaps it will encourage more people to think about good, evil, and what it means to put your faith in God.