Scripture: Psalm 37:1-18 (NIV)
Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked; for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever.
Star Wars is not unique in that the good guys win. That’s pretty much the basis of our whole storytelling tradition, isn’t it? Whatever temporary battles evil may triumph in, the greater war will go to the good. For every Battle of Hoth, there’s a Battle of Endor. The Death Star may destroy Alderaan, but it meets its own end soon after. Rebellions are built on hope and the results are usually very satisfactory.
In this world, things don’t work that way all the time. We all know of good people that have been crushed down by the world, suffering under the sentence of disease, dealing with financial setbacks, or just a bystander that is at the wrong place at the wrong time. Evil warlords overrun their countries far from us and do so with seeming impunity. Even smaller evils, such as corrupt business practices or unethical behavior, can often seem to be the stronger financial play.
There’s no escaping the fact that evil can flourish here. If you walk that path, there’s a lot of material things that can accumulate to you. As Yoda says, the Dark Side is “quicker, easier, more seductive.” Doing what you want, whether it is wrong or not, can definitely be a lot easier than struggling to do good when it seems good is the naive approach.
However, there’s a reason we have this innate idea that good should win, because one day it will. The final battle has already been recorded. God wins the day. We’ll have the heavenly version of that ending medal scene in the Yavin IV base when God tells us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That hope, that knowledge can get us through the down times here on earth, knowing that even if the Death Star has us in its sights, we still win the day when we are on the side of the Lord.
Yoda basically told Luke that good is the harder way. Yet the rewards will be far more than we can imagine!