World War II was a terrible time for the world, particularly in Europe. Hitler's Nazi regime was responsible for more than six million deaths. The brutal tactics of the "Gestapo" and the hopelessness of Auschwitz instilled fear everywhere. But during the Nazi struggle, another brutal murderer was flying under the radar in Paris, Dr. Marcel Petiot.
Petiot was known as a very charming and talented physician, but during the war, Petiot became a serial killer. Towards the end of the war, Paris was a terrible place to live. Hundreds, if not thousands of people "disappeared", but respect for the law had been tarnished by the Nazis; everyone was afraid to come forward and report the "disappearances", especially if they were Jewish. Petiot, consumed by evil, captivated on the times. He preyed on Jews desperate for escape by promising his aid for their getaway. Petiot would invite them into his luxurious townhouse, tell them to write letters to their relatives detailing their escape, and then he would kill them. He was finally caught by police when a fire was reported near his townhouse. When fire crews entered his home for "damage control", they found multiple body parts. Petiot was convicted and sentenced to death for 26 confirmed murders. However, it's believed that Petiot killed more than 150 people!
Petiot's story is very frightening, but what's even more frightening is Satan preys on us the same way today. Peter writes that Satan is like, "a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) When we realize who we're up against, it can fill us with doubts and unresolved fears. But if we listen, James supplies the words for our rescue, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and he will come near to you." (James 4:7-8)
Resist. Come Near. For the day is almost over!