Good overcomes evil, because what is good in the eyes of God is really part of His heavenly love, and what is not in the heavenly will of God is really evil; or we could say what is evil is really from the devil.
And it was the devil in the form of a serpent or who possessed a serpent who convinced Eve to believe him rather than God, and she convinced Adam and their disobedience spread until the whole world became corrupted.
In heaven there is no pain or suffering or death, and in contrast the world is full of violence, pain, suffering, and death that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to die every year.
We have heard it said of World War I that it was the war to end all wars, but there have continued to be wars and acts of terrorism to this very day, because violence never ends violence, for as history has shown us violence only produces more violence.
The vast majority of the people in the world think nothing of the violence and suffering that is on their plates and in their glasses, because they donít want to face the truth about what is happening to millions upon millions of animals every day.
But when people wake up to the corruption of the world and become ethical vegans, their love and good overcomes evil, and the fact that more and more people are becoming ethical vegans every day is proof to us that we can free creation from its present corruption.
Letís continue with our Biblical excursion into good overcomes evil by looking at Exodus 3:1-15Ö
1. Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
This is now 80 years after his mother set him afloat in the Nile and all of this time is included in the fact that Godís deliverance often takes time as we talked about last week.
2. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed.
This is the kind of miracle that God often uses to attract someoneís attention, and sometimes these miracles can be specific to the interests of an individual.
3. So Moses said, "I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up."
4. When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am."
We need to remember that Moses was a murderer who killed an Egyptian who was harming an Israelite some 40 years before this time, yet God, who sees the intent of the heart, still chose Moses to be His deliverer of the Israelites.
5. Then He said, "Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground."
Obviously Moses complied, but there may also have been another reason that God gave this order; He may have wanted to see if Moses would do what he wanted, because He also knew that Moses was fearful of certain things.
6. He said also, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
Moses then understood that God was behind the angel and the fire and in his reverent fear he hid his face, and God was intent on using His goodness and the goodness and obedience that He saw in Moses to deliver the Israelites from the evil acts of the Egyptians and the other nations of the land where they would go.
7. And the LORD said, "I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.
Godís timing is not the same as our timing, and we may not always understand His delays, but He always hears our prayers and is intent on ending all evil, for good overcomes evil.
8. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.
The term ďflowing with milk and honeyĒ is an idiomatic expression meaning all good things, and doesnít refer to actual milk or honey.
9. And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them.
God reiterated that He had heard the cries of the Israelites caused by the evil of the Egyptians.
10. Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt."
God was saying that the time for His deliverance had come, and the deliverer was going to be Moses; the time was set for them to see that good overcomes evil.
11. But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?"
Moses had a speech problem and he was afraid to speak in public, so he tried to find some excuse for God to choose someone else.
12. And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain."
So instead of getting angry at Moses for his lack of faith, He tried to encourage him.
13. Then Moses said to God, "Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I shall say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you.' Now they may say to me, 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?"
But Moses procrastinated and tried to find some other reasons for God to send someone else, but God knew that Moses was a righteous and capable leader who could lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
14. And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
So God answered his concern and took away more of his delaying tactics, and went on with more encouragement, which is typical of Godís love.
15. And God, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.
But even this was not enough to fully convince Moses to go, but eventually God let his brother Aaron go with him as his mouthpiece, but that is a story for another time.
Letís close todayís discussion of how good overcomes evil by looking at Romans 12:9-21Ö
9. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Godís heavenly love is always pure, and we need to live in that perfect love so that how we live every day is a reflection of the heavenly will of God and that whatever we say matches the way we live so that we are never seen as being hypocrites.
10. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
And we strongly believe that no one is to be excluded, including the animals, and we will never have peace on earth until we do this.
11. not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
And it doesnít matter if others reciprocate immediately, because they still need to see our loving nature, for good overcomes evil.
12. rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
In other words, we are never to give up, no matter how much opposition we encounter, or how much evil is around us; we are to always be the peacemaking children of God.
13. contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
The saints generally mean our fellow believers, but our hospitality must extend to the whole of creation; no one is to be excluded.
14. Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not.
Remember that vengeance and violent anger are of this corrupt and evil world, and we are always to be peacemakers.
And, a blessing can also be something like this: May the Lord bless you and keep you and guide you in His heavenly will.
How much better it will be when our former enemies become our brothers and sisters in the Lord without any hypocrisy; good overcomes evil.
15. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
This is being truly empathetic and doing everything we can to encourage others.
16. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
In other words, we are always to be humble.
If we always live in Godís heavenly will, others will know who we are, and that is all that should matter.
17. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
18. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
This is being born again peacemaking children of God, who peacefully work to help free creation from its present corruption, which includes every other human being, and the other animals, and the environment in which we all live.
19. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
This is all part of truly trusting in the Lord for all things, and who knows whether our former enemies will become one of us and live, and this is why we always need to be prepared to do what Paul wrote next.
20. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."
And we strongly believe that these burning coals are the haunting convictions of the evil that they had done, so that they hopefully will repent and also become children of God.
21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
This is the theme of todayís discussion; good overcomes evil.
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