Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Century or Centuries (02/17/11)
TITLE: Up from the Shadows
By Amanda Brogan
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It was heavenly protocol. The signal for the called-forth angel to begin his account of how he had performed his recent assignment from the Lord. Each eagerly awaited his affirmation from the Most High that he had done his job well and buzzed with excitement to learn of what his next task would be.
When the last angel had finished, a hush fell upon the multitudes, sweeping through the ranks of joyous servants like an unexpected chill. There, very near the Throne, appeared a black shadow. Swirling and hissing and growing, up from the shadow rose the Dark One himself. His foggy shadow surrounded him like ghoulish cape, his enormous form demanding eerie respect. All knew why he was here, yet all wondered why he came.
Slowly, the Dark One lowered to one knee and then rose again to his full height, his black head slightly bowed.
“From where have you come?” the Holy One asked. His voice resounded through space-less Heaven like the rushing of a mighty river. Strong but not harsh. Powerful but not proud. Light emanated from the Maker of the sun.
The Dark One replied in his guttural voice, “I have been all around the globe, stirring up many new thoughts in the mind of mankind.”
“What was your mission in this?”
“I purposed to instill in man’s heart a selfish pride. I have given them reasons to believe that they don’t need You.”
“How have you gone about this?”
With a grisly sneer, Satan filled the air with images of covered wagons being replaced by motor cars and then morphing through various years and styles. Silent movies developed sound and then color, intensifying in vivid quality until the special effects became lifelike. Television moved from drive-in theater only to hundreds of channels in a personal living room. Computers shrank from room-filling monsters to a hand-held devise. Airplanes soared. Music genres increased. Communications grew.
And Satan laughed. “Just look at what I’ve done in the last hundred years! Never in centuries past has mankind so rapidly developed this many technological advancements! They’re learning more all the time. And ...” he jabbed a skinless finger into the air. “They’ve discovered, just like at Babel, that with all this knowledge, they don’t need God to control their destiny.”
The hosts of Heaven were itching to put the Blasphemer in his place, but they knew that the Almighty needed no help in that feat.
“I suppose you have not noticed all the servants of Mine that were used to bring about many of these changes.” The Master challenged. “You have not shown how I put the knowledge and ideas in their hearts.”
The Deceiver bristled and swung a section of shadowy cape closer to his sinister form. “But I managed to twist the good use for which these things were intended and turn their purpose against You.”
Not so much as raising His all-powerful voice, the Creator again countered, “You have been allowed, for a time, to deceive many. And though my chosen ones will dedicate their use of technology to Me, many will be led astray to believe that they can acquire all knowledge on their own. But a century is coming when their knowledge will be useless and their accomplishments will turn to dust. I will test them and prove to them their need for Me. And I will reign before their eyes.”
Shrieking and twisting back into his shadow, the Evil One soon disappeared from before the Throne.
The hosts of Heaven looked down to the earth and watched as man’s knowledge continued to increase, all the while enhancing his need God. And they waited in fervent anticipation for the earthly century to which the Lord had referred.
“... if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
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