A Basketful of Evil

Mark Fackler

READ : Zechariah 5:5-8

“This is their iniquity in all the land.” (v. 6)

Zechariah’s prophecy is filled with odd visions, none more so than this seventh one. You read it and wonder what’s going on. In the symbolic world pictured here, evil is disposed of like garbage in a can. A woman personifying wickedness is put in a basket with a lead top and sent to a house in Babylon. It’s as if God decided to take out all the world’s trash. In the book of Revelation (14:8), Babylon is the symbol of obstinate evil, total disregard for God, rebellion, and stubborn denial of God’s rule. In this vision, evil is bundled up and shipped there, eventually to face God’s final judgment.

Is there a message for us in this bad basket’s flying journey? First, evil is real and has to be taken seriously. Evil hurts; evil offends and ruins. Second, God will win. The massive advances made by evil will be stopped and evil will be overcome. Babylon was strong once, but not forever. Third—though only hinted at in this vision—you and I have a part to play in evil’s containment and God’s victory. God will do it surely. But God’s work is done through kingdom servants like us. Big task, sometimes dangerous, always messy. Yet it is God’s great calling on our lives.


I can handle the mess, Lord, only with your help.