On Wednesday, John and I went to see The Hobbit. This was, I believe, the first movie he had been to since Das Boot in the 1980’s and my second since living in the United States. So, we are not really Big Screen people, but….Tolkien is Tolkien…Brilliant, inimitable…

Unfortunately, the movie was disappointing – at least to us. I have read The Hobbit only once, years ago. I am really much more familiar with Lord of the Rings. But I do not remember it being an ‘action’ story, which the movie certainly was. Lots of noise and destruction.

In any case, the movie made me think once more about Lord of the Rings. It really is a powerful epic of Good and Evil, isn’t it? There is one central fact that fascinates me about the story. I don’t know whether or not you might have thought about this:

Frodo was able – with Gollum’s ‘help’ – to throw the ring into Mt. Doom, and destroy it,  only because Sauron and his evil hosts had never considered the possibility the good forces would do this. It was inconceivable to Sauron that anyone would deliberately choose to destroy the possibility of exercising absolute power. Therefore, Mt Doom was completely unguarded.

The undergirding truth? Evil simply can’t think as Good does. It is impossible…With all his apparent brilliance, Satan can’t think as God does. So much so that he ends up being God’s dupe.

In Job’s life, Satan’s design was sheer malevolence. God’s aim was twofold – to illustrate the beauty of Job’s faith and to bless suffering believers of all generations with perseverance, for His own glory. Who prevailed?

And with Christ…In spite of Satan’s visceral desire to kill the God-Man, would he have done so if he could have foreseen the future? Understood what He was accomplishing?

And Satan would stop persecuting the church tomorrow, wouldn’t he, if he could think as God thinks? What weens people away from temporal values and satisfactions more than losing what can be lost? And discovering that Christ, indeed, is enough. Isn’t there a saying that the man who has nothing to lose is a dangerous one?

So it is in this upside-down, inside-out world we live in…

Evil is evil and good is good. There is no confusion of categories.

But there is confusion if the mind of the brilliant Arch Foe.

He thinks his evil can triumph over God’s goodness and wisdom.