When Jesus taught His disciples to pray these words, He knew that, first of all, their thoughts would immediately turn to those who would persecute them. Israel had a long and storied history of dealings with 'the evil one'. From the Fall of Adam & Eve in the Garden ( Genesis 3 ), and through the several 'falls' throughout Her history ( Noah, David, etc. ) up to the time of the Christ Himself, Jesus knew first-hand the temptations that they would have to deal with at the hands of 'the evil one'!
'Evil', as we have previously witnessed, is the polar opposite of 'good'. From a human standpoint, this often seems to be, or is treated as a relative truth. What is 'good' for one may be 'evil' to another and vice-versa; what may seem 'evil' to one, because our conscience has been cleansed by our Heavenly Father, is rendered 'good' to these. However, Truth, as we know, is absolute! One plus one will always equal two, two plus two will always equal four, etc., etc.
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
In the human experience, many things will occur that seem 'evil' to us, and likewise, others will seem 'good' to us, but just because they seem so, they are not always so! As Micah, and every other true prophet of Israel saw, our Heavenly Father had defined to His People what was right, and just and good, whereas the opposite would be wrong, unjust, and evil!
In this life, we are presented, just as Israel of old, with many challenges & opportunities to do right or wrong, 'good' or 'evil'. There are those, just as in Israel's day, that will try try to convince us that 'good' & 'evil' are relative, but by the Presence of our Heavenly Father & His Word, and through the blessing of a cleansed conscience, we know by our very nature if what they offer is good, just, and right, or if it is evil, unjust, and wrong!
Daily Communion with our Heavenly Father & His People serves to strengthen within us the knowledge of 'good & evil'! We have the confidence, in knowing His Truth, to avoid the 'evil' and to choose the 'good', because the Hope of Israel is fulfilled in us! The Messiah of Israel delivered His People from the sin of Adam, and thus was fulfilled the prayer, 'deliver us from the evil one'!
As we live, day by day in the Blessed Reality of this Great Deliverance let us ever be thankful to our Heavenly Father, let us live in the Joy of His Presence, knowing that we have been freed to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God!
We have been delivered, as the Body of Christ, and we are delivered every day from the 'evil' that surrounds us! May we ever live in thankfulness as experience the fullness of His Mercy & Grace, and shed abroad His Truth & Love!
Let us praise,
Charles Haddon Shank