The Bible is filled with stories of good vs evil. I think we can agree that most Christian films don’t properly capture the stories laid out in God’s word. Throughout the Old Testament there are stories of intense wars and battles. God’s people vs those who trying to kill them.
In the New Testament, we see Jesus come to earth to defeat death and overcome the devil.
Even though the quote “evil prevails when the good do nothing.” isn’t found in the Bible, there are stories that align with the quote. The quote is credited to Edmund Burke when he said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
In this post, we’ll share four instances where evil would have prevailed if good men and women didn’t stand up for God’s truth.
You may have never heard of Nehemiah, but you’ve probably heard the verse “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” which is from Nehemiah 8:10.
The story of Nehemiah is about a man living in Babylon captivity. He is a servant to the king when he hears about how the walls of Jerusalem have been destroyed. Evil has shown up and prevailed in Nehemiah’s homeland. Hearing the bad news upsets Nehemiah, so he goes to the king he is serving and asks if he can go repair the walls of Jerusalem.
The king allows him to go and provides the necessary resources. Nehemiah goes back to Jerusalem and repairs the walls that have been destroyed for years in just 52 days. He accomplished what looked like an impossible task, and because he did something about the problem, evil no longer prevailed.
One of the most well-known verses in Esther is verse 4:14:
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14 NIV
Esther’s Uncle Mordecai came to her and said that she was in the position of a queen to stop evil from prevailing.
An evil man named Haman convinced the king of the land to kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day (Esther 3:13). If Esther hadn’t done anything to stop this, evil would’ve prevailed. Instead of sitting back and ignoring the evil, Esther made the decision to go to the king.
Stopping the evil plan to kill the Jews was a risk for Esther. She said that she could’ve died if she went to the king, but she did it anyways. If we don’t want evil to prevail, we need to be courageous and bold.
David and Goliath is probably the best known good vs evil stories in the Bible. Even people who have never been to church have heard about David and Goliath.
Before David ever went into the valley to face Goliath, good men were doing nothing.
For forty days, Goliath came into the valley and asked if anyone was bold enough to fight him. The Bible says that all of the Israelites fled from Goliath when they saw him.
“Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.”
1 Samuel 17:24 NIV
Goliath was prevailing because the good men were doing nothing. David showed up and decided to take action. Even when Saul told David that he couldn’t go and fight Goliath, David did it anyways. Sometimes we’ll be willing and able to take action against evil, but we let well-meaning people talk us out of it.
Jesus fully understood that His assignment on earth was to destroy the works of the devil. Even if that meant dying a brutal death on the cross. Jesus knew that the wages of sin were death, and that He needed to be the sacrifice and atonement for the sins of humanity.
To defeat evil, Jesus needed to be the faultless sacrifice, even if it wasn’t what He wanted.
Before going to the cross, this is what Jesus said:
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Luke 22:42 NLT
It’s always easier to sit back and do nothing. But then we let evil prevail. Standing up against evil requires us to do what we don’t want to. It’s going to be challenging, and we’re going to need courage and strength to do it. When we stand up against evil, it usually won’t benefit us, but it will surely benefit those around us and those who will follow in our footsteps.