And behold, the leaden cover was lifted, and there was a woman sitting in the basket! And he said, “This is Wickedness” and he thrust her back into the basket, and thrust down the leaden weight on its opening.
In this vivid vision that God gives Zechariah, he sees a basket with a woman called Wickedness inside. It gives profound insight into the nature of wickedness if we take notice of a few things in the vision:
- The Initial Innocence of Wickedness
Had he not lifted the cover, Zechariah would have just seen a basket. If we remember the Moses account, you could fit an infant in there. But behold–it is not an infant in that basket; it is Wickedness herself. What appeared to be innocent is not innocent at all. What seemed harmless is not harmless at all.
- The Seductive Nature of Wickedness
Note the female nature in the personification of Wickedness. This is not a knock on women. It is a woman to exemplify the seductive nature of sin (this picture is often used in scripture e.g. Revelation 17). In other words, wickedness is not passive, she is active in seducing. Her job is to draw people in towards her.
- The Destructive Nature of Wickedness
Note how the angel had to “thrust her down” as soon as the basket cover was lifted. She is violent and destructive and will attack at first opportunity. This beastly thing is treacherous and poisonous to anyone who engages her.
This vision illustrates something very profound about the nature of wickedness: That it SEEMS innocent at first, it is set on SEDUCING others, and it is ultimately DESTRUCTIVE.
When we think about the choices that we make, the institutions that are being established, the books that are being written, I think it’s a good observation to see how seemingly innocent they appear at first, but how not innocent they actually are.
Wickedness over promises and under delivers, every time, all the time. Therefore, God’s people need to be a discerning people to discard the work of the foul beast from our lives.