Have you ever noticed times when you suddenly become aware of an object, word or name that seems to appear everywhere you look? Maybe you can recall a time when, for example, you bought a new (or new used) car. Suddenly, you begin to notice all the other cars that are the same color and model as yours. Apparently, this phenomenon even has a name. It’s called “frequency illusion.”
During the writing of my new Bible study based on the story of the man rescued from an army of demons (LEGION: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me), I noticed things I hadn’t paid as much attention to before: books and memes and sermons on the topic of DEMONS. That shouldn’t be so surprising, given the fact that I was neck-deep in studying this topic. However, there was one observation that did take me by surprise. I was enjoying a relaxing evening at home, reading a novel (which had nothing to do with demons). In the novel, I came across the word pandemonium. For the first time, I noticed the letters ‘demon’ are smack in the middle of the word. (I suspect you now see it as well!)
I’ll be honest: I had never pondered the word pandemonium before. But then, I was curious… are the letters ‘demon’ inside the word merely a coincidence, or is there a connection? Being a word nerd, I couldn’t help but put down my novel to do a bit of research. I was not disappointed. It turns out that the word ‘demon’ in ‘pandemonium’ is not a coincidence at all. It is a word that first appeared in the poem, Paradise Lost, written by 17th-century poet John Milton. Milton combined two Greek words:
- “pan” – meaning “all”
- “daimon”(ium) – meaning “demons” (place of)
The word pandemonium, in essence, means “the place of all demons”, which Milton used in his poem to represent hell.
I don’t know about you, but the responses to the news and events of the past weeks, at least from what I’ve been reading, seems to border on pandemonium. Yes, this virus is serious and we must take precautions, but as Christians, we can take comfort in knowing that even in uncertain times, God is still in control. As we seek to be lights in a dark world, let us be wise and careful in the days ahead, responding not in fear, but in faith. Many around us are looking for hope in the midst of their fears (and the enemy loves to prey on fear, chaos, and despair). Let us honor the One whose Name we bear, the One who loves us more than life itself. Our God is a God of order, not chaos; He is a God of hope, not despair. May we represent Him well.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 ESV)
Copyright © 2020 by Shadia Hrichi, author of LEGION: Rediscovering the God Who Rescues Me, copyright © 2019 by Shadia Hrichi. Published by Leafwood Publishers.