Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis of Tennessee, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory of Massachusetts, and Staff Sgt. Brian Cody Prosser of California were Army Green Berets, members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group deployed in Afghanistan. They also were our first combat casualties from those who were deployed on Afghanistan's soil. A 2,000 pound satellite-guided bomb from a U.S. B-52 missed its intended target and killed them. Intentional enemy fire did not kill them. Accidental friendly fire killed them.

Evil makes life on earth a disaster experience. Evil reduces people to an animal's mentality and behavior. Before evil, people lived in God's presence in ways not possible now. They even had conversations with God (see Genesis 3:8-11). But evil distanced people from God. When evil held complete domination in people's minds and hearts, the intents of their hearts were totally wicked on a continuing basis (Genesis 6:5,6).

In every age people who dare to be godly do not fit in an evil world. That is a constant. It was true 3,000 years ago. It was true 2,000 years ago. It was true 1,000 years ago. It is true today. It always will be true in every age.

To dare to develop a Christian heart and behavior is to dare to be a "misfit" in an evil world. To dare to follow God is to declare war on Satan. Satan takes such declarations very seriously. Only good defeats evil [good as defined by God]. The person who dares follow God, who allows God to teach him or her to do good is Satan's only physical threat on earth. Belonging to God makes any person Satan's special enemy.

Satan has an incredible array of weapons to assault the person committed to godliness. The variety of his attack plans defy description. He specializes in the unexpected. He assaults our weakness. He loves the element of surprise. He intends to destroy.

He has a special means for assaulting hearts of the godly. It uses the element of surprise (or astonishment). He uses "friendly fire" to cause casualties among the righteous. He uses those devoted to God to assault those devoted to God. A godly person is devastated when assaulted by those who endorse godliness. Nothing seems so useless and unnecessary as death inflicted by friendly fire. Killing is simple. Encouraging is demanding.

Principles to remember: But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13). You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 16 December 2001

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