Finally catching up with some notes on a few weeks ago. We heard from the story in Luke where Jesus confronts “Legion” (the evil within the demon-possessed man) in Chapter 8:26-39. The immediate question we often hear, is something to the effect of “Why don’t supernatural happenings like this occur today?” Perhaps you have experienced something like this, or something that seemed like this. Even so, it’s rare in modern Midwest living for sure.
The point was made that in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:1-15), there were many reasons why the seeds did not grow well. Only in one case, did that involve the devil. The seeds that were “trampled on”. If we look around the globe, the places where “supernatural” forces of evil seem to be stirring up trouble, are those places that have been “trampled on” by the rest of the world. Poor nations, 3rd World Countries, where unfair labor practices, debt interest, and power mongering presses down on the backs of its citizens. Where we live, how hard does evil need to work….when the culture/environment we live in does so much on it’s behalf?
Even so, there are important things we can take from what happens in theses verses. The forces within the possessed man BEG to be sent into the swine, rather than being sent back to “ABUSSON” (the abyss). This is the same abyss referred to in Revelation 9:1 (Satan is given the key to it’s shaft, but not the actual abyss). Sometimes translated as “bottomless pit”, but in the Old Testament was very closely related to how the world was before God created things (Genesis 1:2). It’s an existence apart/separated/without from what God is doing.
So they get what they asked for, and are sent into the pigs. What happens immediately? The swine run off a steep bank and are drowned in the lake. We aren’t told what happens to demons after the pigs they possess are drowned, but my guess is the evil spirits aren’t still hangin’ out with fish at the bottom of the water. My guess is they ended up in the “abyss” anyway.
What do we learn here? Evil is always moving toward death, Moving away from God. There is no rational thought, no wise-maneuvering toward winning some sort of cosmic game of chess. The very nature of evil, is to be moving away from God…towards death. To the point where even when one situation appears to go their way (being sent into the pigs), they cannot escape their very nature….toward death.
May we not be the swine they beg to be sent into…:)
(for more on Luke’s emphasis on revealing the Truth of Jesus dominion over evil, check out “The Demise of the Devil” by Susan R. Garrett)