The Diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust, is one of the most widely read books in the world. Through her story we are aware of the efforts of many to stand against evil to save the lives of others. The Hiding Place features the ten Boom family and is another accurate portrayal of the Dutch resistance, which at its peak had 300,000 people in hiding. Casperten Boom, the patriarch, was in his 80s and his two unmarried daughters in their mid-40s during the war and their involvement with the underground. Because of his age, when the ten Booms were arrested Casper was offered the chance to go free if he made no more trouble. He declined. As he gathered close with all those arrested that first night of processing, Psalm 91 is what he spoke over them.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. (vs. 5,6)
Casper died 10 days later. His daughter Betsie died in a concentration camp. His son and grandson died, like so many who risked that others may live. But what he prayed was still true. He was more expectant of God’s care for him than he was fearful of what evil could do.
We question “how good is good enough?” and how can God be good in the face of evil? This question is inconsequential for the Christian. Not that we can’t ask or wrestle with it. It’s just that good and evil come from the same tree.
In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)
The life of a Christian is not about being good. It is not about evil. There is only one Tree of Life and it is Jesus. Our life isn’t about a desire to do good. Once you are connected to the Cross, it is only about the desire to be with Jesus, in love and obedience.
It always goes back to two trees. Casper ten Boom was no super-hero. He did not reject comfort in his old age because he was working hard to be good. He simply had made the Most High his dwelling place. He sheltered under the Tree of Life.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Ps. 91:14-16