But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:3
We live in interesting times. When the days are warm and the sky is blue, a gentle breeze is blowing, life is good we are feeling blessed and there is not a care in the world, it is easy to read this verse and think, “keep us from evil”. What is that about? I am reminded that in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus prayed for us that we would be delivered from evil. What is evil from a biblical point of view? The word ‘evil’ in our English language comes from at least three words translated ‘evil’ in the English. When used as an adjective the first word is “kakos”. This stand for whatever is evil in character, or base in distinction from the second word “poneros” which means what is evil in influence and effect. Like a disease such as cancer it can be considered malignant or terminal. The third word is ‘phaulos’ which basically means slight or trivial, or blown about by every wind; it is bad in the sense of being worthless, contemptible, belonging to a low order of things. Kakos is the opposite of kalos, which means fair or good in character, and to agathos, which means beneficial, or good in act. Kakos covers what is morally evil which can include people or qualities, emotions, or deeds. It can be something that causes injuries or is destructive. Poneros refers to evil that causes pain or sorrow. It can refer to in the physical sense that which is bad or worthless. In the moral sense it can mean evil or wicked and can refer to person(s), or evil spirits, or things. Poneros can also be used as a noun and when so used it can refer to Satan. In our text in 2 Thessalonians 3:3 we find Paul speaking of Satan as evil or the evil one. How do we as believers find the power to resist or overcome Satan? Our strength comes from the Lord. Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonians because there were some who had misunderstood his teaching on the coming Day of The Lord. They believed that the second return of Christ had occurred and they had missed it, which was explaining why they were going through their persecution. Paul explains in the preceding chapter what two events had to have happened for the Day of The Lord to occur. Our ability to be kept from evil is from God the Father. God is faithful, He is reliable and can be trusted. Paul says the Lord will stablish them. It means to firmly fix, or strengthen, to secure. God was going to in the midst of their assault or attack that threatened their faith make them unconquerable by the evil one. How will the Lord do that? He will keep us or guard us. It carries with it the picture of a solider guarding a prisoner. His job is not to let anything happen to the prisoner while he is under his control. We as Christians are in the hands of the Lord and as we seek to follow Him and do His will he will keep us from the evil one. We can care about the world because we are in the care of the Father.