This is the fourth book in the Harry Potter Series. It is the first book in the series where we began to see open conflict between the forces of Evil (Lord Voldemort) and the forces of Good. There are five lessons that we can learn from this book: always be constantly vigilant, beware of the destructive influence of those who bear false witness and test everything against the truth, fight for justice for all, the aggressive nature of evil must be aggressively resisted, and chose what is right over what is easy.
Always be Constantly Vigilant
In this book we are introduced to the character “Mad-Eye” Moody. He was a “dark wizard” hunter. However, not everything is as it seems with “Mad-Eye”, because the character that we see as “Mad-Eye” is not the real “Mad-Eye”. He is in fact Barty Crouch, Jr., who is a “Death Eater” (one who supports Voldemort). He is also out to lure Harry into a trap so that Voldemort can use him to “resurrect” himself and then kill him.
All of “Mad-Eye”‘s students would have done well to remember his constant warning to remain constantly vigilant. Why? Because you never know who might be an enemy in disguise.
Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour1 Peter 5:8 CSB
Peter’s warning to use is the same as “Mad-Eye”‘s. We must remain constantly vigilant because our adversary is “prowling around” and he is looking for those whom he can destroy and trick into believing his lies.
Beware of the Destructive Influence of those Who bear False Witness and Test Everything against the Truth
We are, also, introduced to Rita Skeeter in this book. She is a “reporter” with the Daily Prophet. However, she does not report the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She is more interested in gossip and promoting rumors that stir up trouble. We would well to remember that not everything written is the “truth”.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4:1-6 CSB
This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming; even now it is already in the world.
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.
John is one his letters writes to us to remind us to not believe everything that we hear because there are many “false prophets” in our world. We must test these “false prophets” against the very word of God and use the word of God as our measuring stick for determining what is true and what is false.
Fight for Justice for All
In book 2 (Chamber of Secrets) we are introduced to House Elves. House Elves are magical creatures that serve wizards and their family’s for life. They have no choose about serving and are virtual slaves. Hermione throughout Book 4 (Goblet of Fire) is fighting for justice for the House Elves. She even goes so far to form S.P.E.W (Society for the Promotion for Elfish Welfare).
Once again in this book we see the Weasley’s desire to protect those who cannot protect themselves from the forces of evil. They are among the first to fight for the “muggles” (those who are not magical) who are being tortured by the “Death Eaters”.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.Matthew 25:34-35 CSB
“ ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you? ’
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t take me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of me.’
“Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help you? ’
“Then he will answer them, ‘I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
The true measure of those who have been saved is a love of justice for those who are considered to be the least in their society. Jesus has called us to treat those who the least in our society with love and justice.
Learn to do what is good.Isaiah 1:17 CSB
Correct the oppressor.
Defend the rights of the fatherless.
Plead the widow’s cause.
The Aggressive Nature of Evil must be Aggressively Resisted
At the very end of this book Dumbledore calls for the Minister of Magic to make an aggressive stand against the growing forces of evil. Why? Because “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Harry, Ron and Hermione continue to exhibit this important principle through out this book and the rest of the series.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens. For this reason take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand. Stand, therefore, with truth like a belt around your waist, righteousness like armor on your chest, and your feet sandaled with readiness for the gospel of peace. In every situation take up the shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit — which is the word of God. Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.Ephesians 6:11-18 CSB
Choice What is Right over What is Easy
When Harry and Cedric were in the maze Cedric had to choose to agree to share the victory. This choice would ultimately cause his death, but is was the right decision instead of the easy decision. Similar Harry had to choose to stand and fight Voldemort in the graveyard rather than rolling over and dying. Both these choices were not the easy choices, but they were the right choices.
But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship — the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.Joshua 24:15 CSB
It would have been easy for the people of Israel to choose to follow the false god’s for the land they had entered. It would have been even easier for them to follow the god’s of Egypt, the land that they had just been rescued from. Just as it is easier for you to choice to do things in the way that world tells you, rather than follow the instructions that you have been given be God. You have a choice. You can either choose the easy way, that may bring you immediate satisfaction and keep you from dying, or you can chose the right way. The choice is yours so choose wisely.