Devotion for Friday, May 15, 2020
From: Karon Brosey

Good Afternoon Everyone…

Back in the 60’s there was a television show I loved to watch called The Outer Limits. It was a Sci-Fi show that lots of times had a twisted ending and opened each episode with an ominous Control Voice stating the following:

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image; make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat – there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to the outer limits.

That was pretty scary to me – thinking someone could control your TV without you being able to do anything about it. The shows were things that made you wonder if any such thing could ever really be possible. There was one episode titled “The Invisible Enemy” and this is the plot:

Two astronauts on the M-1 spaceship land on Mars in the year 2021; when one goes out to explore, he is heard screaming and his last transmission indicates that he had no idea what was happening to him. When the second astronaut goes out to investigate, he too makes a similar transmission. Three years later a second mission, M-2, lands with a crew of four consisting of Major Merritt, Captains Buckley and Lazzari and Lieutenant Johnson. They are tasked both to explore and to determine what happened to the M-1. When Captain Lazzari is sent to explore the ruins of the M-1, he goes behind the ship to examine it and screams in unbearable agony, just like the previous crew. Captain Buckley and Lieutenant Johnson go to investigate, and Buckley finds only bloodstains. Johnson, armed with a nuclear bazooka wanders off and disappears. The two remaining crew are ordered to stay within the confines of the ship in the last hours before take-off. However, Captain Buckley has a vision wherein the planet’s deserts appear as sand-filled oceans; he then slips out to examine these “oceans.” While exiting the ship he cuts his hand; he rubs the blood onto a scrap of cloth and throws it out into the desert. He learns that a Sand-Beast – a crustacean-like animal that swims through the sands like a shark – is at fault for the deaths. Major Merritt, the leader of the expedition, was asleep when Captain Buckley exited, but goes out to find him and becomes trapped on a rock when the Sand-Beast pursues him. With ten minutes left until lift-off, Captain Buckley creates a distraction by running across the sands; this allows both Merritt and Buckley to reach the shore unharmed. They shoot the Sand-Beast, using the nuclear bazooka Johnson left behind when he was killed. The fatally wounded Sand-Beast submerges beneath the surface, but five other Sand-Beasts, drawn by the noise and blood of their dying kin, soon emerge. The two remaining astronauts realize, “There’s a whole army of them”. Major Merritt and Captain Buckley communicate with control on Earth that they are coming home.

The background story into that episode is this:

The episode was based on a short story by Jerry Sohl. ‘The Invisible Enemy’, which was first published in Imaginative Tales magazine in September 1955. That story takes place on the fourth planet of a faraway star, where the fifty-man warship Nesbitt lands to investigate the disappearance of a number of spaceships sent to the planet. After a ten-man expeditionary team is consumed from inside a forcefield, the ship’s computer suggests, unconvincingly, that “invisible”
birds are to blame. Twenty-nine more men are killed and a lone survivor, named Lazzari, is found in the desert. The final transmission from his unit: “No! No! They’re coming out of the ground!” Lazzari kills himself by smashing his head against a bulkhead and the remaining crew gather outside the ship to give him a military burial. The computer advises against it; the corpse is bloody, and blood seems to provoke the attacks. Allison, the civilian computer expert, protests against the burial and is locked inside the Nesbitt by the mission commander. Allison watches helplessly as the funeral party is eaten by “large, heavy, porpoise-like creatures …swimming up
out of the sand as if it were water.”

Reminiscing about this show and the title of this particular episode made me think about the REAL INVISIBLE ENEMY!!! One that truly DOES exist. Maybe you think I am referring to COVID-19. After all, COVID-19 is an invisible enemy seeking to cause people much harm by making them very ill or even causing death. We are advised to wear masks and gloves to protect others and ourselves against this enemy that is affecting our world. But there is a greater, unseen enemy that has ruined, destroyed, and killed many more people than COVID-19 has. That enemy is also invisible and walks around the world seeking to destroy more lives – he is known as the DEVIL. In this case, we need to wear the Armor we
spoke about last week in our Daily Moment with Jesus devotions.

In Matthew 24, Jesus foretells the future and speaks of the troubles the world will endure. COVID-19 is scary – and back when watching The Outer Limits, that was scary to me – but the invisible enemy we
need to be truly aware of is the DEVIL!!! 1 Peter 5:8-9 says this – “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

We need to face the DEVIL and DEFEAT him, and the way we do that is by having a personal relationship with Jesus. Even though COVID-19 will bring death to some, Jesus gives us the promise of eternal life when we accept Him as our Savior. John 11:25-26 Jesus is talking to Martha – “Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives inme and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

That is also how we fight the INVISIBLE ENEMY known as the DEVIL. We surrender our lives over to Jesus Christ who has battled against that enemy on our behalf and has assured us that even when our earthly bodies die, we will live forever in heaven with Him. Having that confidence, we can face ANY and ALL INVISIBLE ENEMIES – especially the DEVIL!!! Stay strong!!!