Anyone who has a lawn to care for understands the gopher problem. And it seems that the better you like your landscaping, the more sure Mr. Gopher will move in. At first a pile or two of fresh dirt here & there, then more of them. They undermine sidewalks, patios, and eat the roots of fruit trees, etc. One of the bigger challenges of these little bostids (eastern accent there) is you never see them. They are just present and very destructive, then they MULTIPLY . . .
There are a few methods of getting rid of them: traps, poison, sulfur bombs, (I used a live 5’ snake once), auto exhaust and moth balls to put a bad fragrance in their tunnels. But the surest & most effective method is the surplus Russian atomic bomb. (The nuke job is only to joke about – highly illegal to perform & the collateral damage is out of the question.)
The silliness above does illustrate a truth we have to live with. The “lawn” is our world & it has a similar “gopher” that undermines & makes a mess of the whole picture. Our families mysteriously develop problems – quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, etc. There will be alcoholism, gay tendencies, and devious habits of all sorts. Disappointments & failures, incarcerations, unnecessary accidents, and marriage failures are all too common. Then on the city/state level there are robberies, shootings, pimping, reckless accidents, arson, riots, and such. On the national level we have dishonest campaigning, political dysfunction, absolute fiscal irresponsibility, assassinations, terrorism, and such. There does appear to be an organized mind which promotes & causes all the mayhem. The Bible defines this “gopher” as Lucifer, Satan, devil, evil spirit, mystery of darkness, destroyer, etc. It doesn’t give an exact origin as such, but of course the “serpent” was in the garden right at the beginning of the human race. We see him dealing directly with Christ in Matthew 4, then in a dramatic interaction at the close of this age in Revelation 9-20.
I believe one of the BEST strategies of our unseen adversary is to convince people he doesn’t exist. But as the property owner with a gopher problem, most folks who want to control the problem of evil should start by admitting it’s real. Jesus did. The gospels are full of Christ’s interaction with the “gopher (s)” – we can gain much insight from those stories & the Apostles instructions also.
-- John 8:44b “He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” J. C. said that.
-- John 10:10 “The thief (satan) cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” J. C.
-- Ephesians 6:12 “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
-- Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith . . .”
As the gopher problem is difficult to deal with, so is the bigger problem of evil undermining & making a mess of our lives. We can’t “nuke” our unseen adversary (but this is exactly what the Second Coming is all about), but we can control the problem near our doorstep. That control is through personal salvation in Christ – personal commitment, prayer, worship, fellowship, giving to the cause, etc. That salvation in effect puts “treasure” instead of a “gopher” in our lawn. “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which a man found & covered up. Then in his joy he goes & sells all that he has, and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44 Choose Jesus, He is alive. See also link 43 “The Demon,” & link 195 "Why Is There Evil?"
Many other Titles: www.gospelnotes.net - Link 1 is Index * * F. J. Stone * *