Hidden Nuggets Series #68: “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” – Psalm 94:16
Several weeks ago I wrote about being robbed and how we were dealing with the theft of a portable basketball goal at our house. After some investigation on my own, I discovered that the neighborhood kids in the subdivision behind ours took the goal and had placed it in their subdivision’s park area. The big complication to the whole situation was that the subdivision directly behind ours is in another county.
Because I didn’t have proof like a model number for the goal or any personal identifying marks inscribed on it, our local police would not cross jurisdictions to retrieve the stolen property. So we were left frustrated about what to do.
In the end we felt resigned to let the issue rest. It seemed dangerous to retrieve the goal ourselves in that it might incite the teens to take some further action against us. The wise course of action was to just chalk this up as one of those unfortunate life situations that you are forced to stomach.
Before we closed the book on the case though, we had one last route to consider (which some commenters here suggested). Now I’m glad we decided to push back just a little bit more.
How We Got Our Goal Back
We have friends who live in the subdivision behind our house to which the goal was relocated. We contacted them about our dilemma and told them where the goal was located. We wanted to see if they knew names and numbers for the leaders of the homeowners association for that subdivision who we might call.
They did direct us to the right person to contact. Not only that but they told us this nugget of information – their subdivision covenants forbid people from having basketball goals on their property or anywhere else in the subdivision. So the fact a goal was even present on the playground the subdivision manages should have immediately raised a red flag.
A couple days later Mrs. Luke1428 called the number given to us. As she began to explain what had happened, the person on the phone said, “Oh, you are so-in-so’s friend (the friends we knew who lived there). They told us what happened and we are so sorry. Please come take your goal back.”
So we did.
Actually our friends did. They loaded up the goal in their truck and brought it back to our house.
Pushing Back Against Evil
Part of the frustration that I expressed several weeks ago over this incident rested in the knowledge these kids were getting away with something wrong. More to the point also was that I became fearful over the possible repercussions that might occur should I push the issue. Although it felt awful, it seemed best to “take it” as to not escalate the situation.
But at what point does a person always “take it?” Is there not a time and a place to push back against those who practice evil? Shouldn’t we be standing up for what is right and just and teaching people they cannot get away with this type of behavior?
I think so and that’s what led us to push it this one final step. We were prepared for nothing to happen from our phone call and would have accepted that outcome. Fortunately though our final step produced a welcome outcome.
I’ve been reading through the book of Psalms for my devotions and the other day came across this verse from Psalm 94:16:
“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?”
In the passage, the writer is acknowledging that it is God who stands up for him against those seeking his harm. He can do nothing for himself and could not stand in opposition to them alone. In fact, in the next verse he says, “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence.” That implies that with the Lord’s help he did not back down. He did not let the evildoers have their way. He spoke up and stood against what they were doing.
I wonder though whether God isn’t asking us the same question, “Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers?” Too often we shrink back in fear of standing up against what we know is wrong. Just like in my situation we fear the repercussions of our stance and choose to live in silence. Isn’t it time we step into the gap and confront evil when we see it? I think so.
Imagine a world where we turned a blind eye to every evil act. Where criminals were free to do as they please. Where restitution and justice were never achieved. How could we manage in such a society?
I’m glad we took the one final step and decided to push the issue a bit. If anything, perhaps it will blunt the attitudes of those who took our goal from feeling they can get away with wrongdoing. If it teaches them that lesson then my experience with this incident will have been worth something.
How do you determine when to take a stand against something that is wrong? Have you ever retrieved something that was stolen? How do you conquer the fear of repercussions to your stance?