The Cosmic Struggle
Now war arose in heaven... Rev 12:7 ESV
Behold, the hero. The knight in shining armor who saves the day by slaying the fire-breathing dragon. The young girl you can shoot an arrow through the heart of a rabbit at one hundred yards and then use that same weapon to deliver her oppressed people. The man who can rescue a prairie township from the bad guys by reluctantly pinning on a tin star and dusting off his six-shooter. We sit in the theater and wait for the appearance of the one who will deliver the goods and rescue the moment. Our fingers flip through the pages of a novel to reach the instant of the conquering hero’s pointed blade. We love to rout for the protagonist.
Behold, the villain. The purveyor of evil schemes set forth to entangle the plot and destroy any hope of a happy ending. Sometimes hidden from view, he or she reveals themself midstory, and we quickly love to hate them. The wicked witch of the west swings her broom left to right and releases her terrifying flying monkeys to block the way to Oz. Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett pair up to provide us with a bone-chilling experience. Todd, the “demon barber of Fleet Street,” cuts throats with a shave a bit too close while Mrs. Lovett turns their corpses into meat pies. Miss Trunchbull sings, “The Smell of Rebellion,” as a salute to her hatred of children. Fortunately, Matilda fared much better than the chubby little boy who ate an entire chocolate cake. We long for the villain’s demise.
As a small boy growing up in simpler times the weekends had a definite pattern. Saturday mornings were filled with Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner while the afternoon gave way to Audie Murphy and The Rifleman. It was easy back then to spot the hero in the story and to know that in the end he or she would triumph. The bad guy would always meet his just end either in death or defeat. The color of their clothes instantly identified them with which side they had chosen. Even their names revealed the wholesomeness or poison of their character. When Dudley Do-right was on the trail of Snidely Whiplash no one had to wonder who the bad guy was. Heroes carried conquest toward a happy ending while the villain left a trail of hurt and darkness.
These predictable boundaries of good versus evil, of hero versus villain, dominates almost every storyline. There is no greater truth that wages in our midst than the battle between these two opposing forces. Personality, not events, drive this truth home, and so, we create heroes and rogues. There is an eternal struggle that rages in the cosmos that has become the theme of mankind throughout our history. The two main characters of this cosmic battle are God and Satan. The theme of the book of Revelation is whether God and his Christ will rule, or will Satan and mankind win the day. Fortunately, we can read the end of the story, so we know how it all plays out. The great question remains, on which side will you fall. All eternity will be spent in heaven or hell. Choose today.