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Description: Is the worst evil pain? Is the worst evil sickness? Is the worst evil poverty? Are they the evils we need to be delivered from?
WHAT IS THE WORST EVIL IN THE WORLD?
Transcript of a clip from the talk MADE FOR ADVERSITY by Rev. Ernest O’Neill.
We think we believe it and yet what is the worst evil in the world? Is the worst evil pain? Is the
worst evil sickness? Is the worst evil poverty? Is the worst evil loneliness? Are those the evils
that we really need to be delivered from?
Loved ones, there’s an evil far worse than that and if you just look back to Exodus, I’d show you it
and it’s one we read, it’s the verse we read last time, Exodus 16:1-3, and it’s the start of that
historical record, really.
Exodus 16:1-3, “They set out as the Israelites set out from Elim and all that congregation of the
people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai on the 15th day of
the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt and the whole congregation of the
people of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, “Would that we
had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt when we sat by the flesh pots and ate bread to
the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger”.
That’s sin, that’s the worst evil, self-sufficiency, and I know you all say, “We’re different”, but
loved ones, we’re just the same as those old Israelites.
We’ll settle even for a limited happiness or a limited security as long as it is under our control,
that’s it. We’d rather have the flesh pots and the slavery back in Egypt, we’d rather put up with
those as long as they’re under our control but we hate to be driven beyond our own resources and
that’s why we dislike evil so much when it touches our lives, that’s why we hate it.
We hate to be driven out beyond our own resources. We are miserable, petty, small-minded little
creatures that want to be our own God and we want to have our own little universe and we want to be
able to control it and so what if it’s not the wonderful, magnificent experience that our Creator
planned for us, “Well, at least it’s something that I can control. At least it means I don’t have to
depend on somebody else”.
You know the reluctance that you felt when you first learned to float on water and you put yourself
back, you remember, and you tried to lie back and boy, you didn’t want to get your feet off the
bottom, that’s really typical of our whole lives. We don’t like to be driven beyond ourselves.
We like to have things in our own control and do you see that’s the heart of sin because God’s whole
plan was that we would never live this life on our own. We would never live it by our own resources,
never live it by our own power, His plan was that we would be forced by the exigencies of this life
to reach out beyond ourselves to Him and that’s how He uses evil.
He didn’t create evil but He allows it to touch our lives because it drives us beyond our own
resources and beyond our own abilities and it drives us beyond our self-sufficiency. Really, we’re
all like the old man that was walking along the road with a great bundle of wood on his back and a
passing farmer in a donkey-cart stopped and said, “Do you want a ride?”, and the old man said,
“Yeah, I’d be really grateful”, and he got up on to the donkey-cart with the farmer.
After about a quarter of a mile, the farmer looked around and the old guy was sitting in the big
bundle of wood, was sitting on his knees and he said, “Why don’t you put that wood down on the back
of the cart and relax and rest”, and the old guy said to the farmer, “Oh no, you and your donkey
have been so good giving me a ride but I wouldn’t ask you both to carry my wood as well”, and you
know we know that this body here came from God, we know it and we know it’s His spaceship we’re
riding on throughout the universe everyday, we know that.
MADE FOR ADVERSITY