A terrible story out of Tenerife

A British woman was attacked and decapitated in a supermarket in Los Cristianos on the holiday island of Tenerife yesterday afternoon. Witnesses said the deranged man used a large knife or machete he picked up in the supermarket to stab and decapitate the 62-year-old grandmother, a resident on the island. He then ran out into the street covered in blood, carrying his victim’s head and telling passers-by, “This is my treasure”.

In another news story of the incident, the mayor of the popular resort town where it occurred said, “the incident was ‘the most horrific crime to hit the resort in recent years’,

See, there’s those superlatives again. Every day we read of the “worst” drought…”biggest tornado”…”epic flood”…”Most horrific crime”…yet each week the superlatives are surpassed by yet ANOTHER, more horrific crime, a worse epic flood, a more ferocious tornado… In truth, things are off the charts now. Natural disasters, crime, economics, we are entering uncharted territory, and we have no more words to describe these events.

Read these then I’ll put up some scriptures of what this attack makes me think of in the bible. These following phrases are from the news stories of the attack. The photo below of of the man’s arrest:

–had a history of violent behaviour
–the attacker spent most days sitting 50 yards from the scene of the attack ‘talking to himself and gesticulating wildly’.
–‘He was very disturbed and intimidating, the sort of person you would cross the road to avoid,’
–He was a bizarre individual who was known to police
–had a history of intimidating passers-by on the street
–He knocked a stranger’s teeth out on the street.
–the killer lived in a ‘semi-abandoned’ house
–He was not the smartest looking of guys and not well groomed,
–the man was muttering and shouting

now read these excerpts from Luke and Mark:

–And when He came out onto the land, He was met by a man from the city who was possessed with demons;
–who had not put on any clothing for a long time,
–was not living in a house, but in the tombs.
–and he was bound with chains and shackles
–kept under guard, and yet he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.
–no man could bind him, no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
–And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

I do not know if this guy was demon-possessed or if he was on drugs or merely psycho. I am saying that there are similarities in the known and observed behavior of this man and the Gadarene demoniac. That the bizarre demonic or demonic-like behaviors are not relegated to the distant past when Jesus walked the earth. It happens now, too. The demon world is very real, though not usually seen. When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 that people in the end of days would be brutal, we tend to sanitize our own epoch and not really understand true brutality. Life was cheap in biblical tims: witness the robber victim that the Samaritan helped who was lying bleeding in the road as people walked on by (reminds of me of the MARTA bus driver that dragged the elderly woman 60 feet and then just drove around her), or from the bible Lazarus the poor man dying by the side of the road of the rich man’s house, dogs licking his sores. Christians were being martyred in increasingly evil ways. They knew brutality, they saw it every day.

There was real brutality then, but just because it is the new Millennium now and we can dwell in air conditioned houses in subdivisions does not mean that same kind of brutality is absent from the earth. It is not. We tend to think we live in a sanitized world because we don’t see the kind of brutality the 1st century Christians saw, or even people in violent impoverished nations do today. But Satan is still given charge of this domain and he is the most brutal. And after the Restrainer is removed, brutality will be unleashed that will make the Tenerife beheading look like a picnic. That is because the antichrist will be allowed to come to full iniquity at his appointed time.

It is hard to comprehend, I know. “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5) Just as the demons cannot comprehend the Light, we cannot comprehend this kind of darkness. But it is soon coming to that as the normal state of things, and they will get a lot worse after we are gone and the antichrist rises to full evil.

The grace to cling to is two-fold. We are saved by God’s mercy, and we will be dwelling with Him soon! We have the Light, it is in us and nothing can snatch us out of His hand, ever. And second, the people who will be here after the rapture can turn to the Light. They can appeal to Him for forgiveness, and be with Him in the Light when it is all over. “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Jesus said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:46) Jesus’ power and love reaches all of us, it could reach even that psycho man in Tenerife: as it had reached the Gadarene demoniac: “Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind.” Nothing is impossible with God!! Praise Him forever!