Summary: The Roman guards are a reminder of our own darksides

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A Look at Our Darkside - Jeremiah 17:9

Preached March 4, 2001 @ Saybrook Christian Church

Brent W. Zastrow

A lightly-colored haired person had one of the old Volkswagon beetles

with the engine in the rear. While driving down the road one day the car stalled

and died. The person got out, went to the front of the car, lifted the hood and

discovered the engine missing. Pretty soon a similiar person who also happened

to have a Beetle stopped to see if they could help. They asked, “What’s the

problem?” The first one replied, “I don’t know. But somewhere along the road I

lost my engine. It must have just fallen out.”

“Oh well,” said the second, “You can borrow one from me, I have a spare in the


You know, engines aren’t the only things we need a spare of. Listen to

the words of Jeremiah -- The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.

Who can understand it? Sounds like we could use a spare heart as well doesn’t

it? Especially on those days when our deceitful darkside is showing. Like those

times King Saul chased young David with a spear. When the men of Sodom

tried to break down the door of Lot’s house to get at two angels. When David

was committing both adultry and murder. When Moses killed an Egyptian

slave-master or Jacob was stealing his brother’s birthright. Or when Herod was

killing the baby boys of Bethlehem. When the disciples betrayed, denied and ran

for cover as Jesus was arrested. Or finally when a guy named Saul stood by

cheering and jeering as Stephen was being stoned to death. Max Lucado says “if

the Bible is called the Good Book, it’s not becasue the people in it are.”

The darkside of the heart. That is our subject today. It’s not a popular

subject. It’s not a fun subject. In fact it’s one we would rather forget. It’s one we

have tried to forget. We talk about the good in all men. We talk about the

potential in all men. We talk about anything and everything but the darkside in

all men. But it keeps coming back. It keeps rearing its ugly head. And so

friends we have to deal with it. We have to do something with it. We have to

find out what can be done.

C.S. Lewis wrote The greatest evil is not done in those dordid dens of crime that

Dickens loved to is conceived and moved, seconded and carried in clean,

carpeted, warmen and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut

fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian dissadent who spent so many years

in the Russian prisoner camps in Siberia and witnessed mankind at his very

worst put even more plainly... If only there were evil people somewhere committing

evil deeds openly so that it were necessary just to separate them from the rest of us and

then destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every

human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

And friends there you have it. Solzhenitsyn has arrived at the very same

conclusion as Jeremiah -- the problem is not our environment, whether slum or

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