Monday, August 10, 2009
Mid-Day Devotion 8/10/09
1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
To have that kind of faith, to have that kind of hope, that sense of trust, it almost seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? The vivid imagery that the Psalmist uses, the world melting, the heathen raging, the nations being moved, everything, everything that we know, everything that we could possibly know, everything that they know, changing, in the blink of an eye, and yet one constant, God, the Lord God Almighty, our Heavenly Father, our refuge, our strength, our very present help in trouble, a God who does not forsake His children, who does not forget them, a God who does not abandon them, even when their sins seem to blemish their souls, even when it seems to taint our being in the most and the most vivid of ways, a God who loves and cares for us, a God who protects and guides us, each and every step of the way; that even where we are weak, He is strong, even where it seems like we are breaking, He shall bring together those broken and wounded parts of us, to heal us. This is the promise that He has made, this is the promise that He has given unto His children, even since those earliest of days.
And why? Do we somehow merit it? Do we somehow deserve it? Each and every step of the way we prove that we are sinful, that we are unclean, that we are unworthy of anything righteous. By our own hands redemption and reconciliation to our Heavenly Father are so far off, and why? Why, because our souls are like scarlet, and yet even there, where they are like scarlet, the precious Blood of the Lamb, our precious Savior, Christ Jesus who came to redeem captive sinners, He washes us as clean as snow.
What a promise! What a comfort in this world. We look around and we see the sins of man, we see the sins of the flesh, the lusts of it, we see it in the eyes of those who are hurt and pained, those who struggle amidst captivity. We see it in those who are taken from their homes, ripped away from all whom they love, all those whom they care for, so that they can be slaves, so that they can be sold, so that they can be treated as if they were nothing but cattle. Political prisoners, hostages, sex trade slaves, its all around us, in a world that is so prone to following the old Adversary, a world that is so prone to follow the ways of the Prince of this world.
And yet we know the assurances of God, those assurances He gave to Moses, those assurances He gave to Joshua, the assurances that He handed down to the Psalmists, the blessed promises that He gave unto the saints and the prophets and the disciples from age to age, from generation to generation, as they have sought their way in this world and through this world. They are the same promises that our Heavenly Father gives unto us today, and there is no power, be it dark or be it bleak, be it harsh or hard, may it be the bringer of death, there is no power in this world that can withstand the strength of God. And there is none, none who can take the souls of men or the spirits of men and hide them in a place where the eyes of God cannot see or hear them, for He is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in our troubles.
Therefore, do not fear dear brothers and sisters, do not be afraid, do not be frightened regardless of what the world may throw at us. For the justice of the Lord, the justice of our Heavenly Father, shall be there for each and every one of us. It will be there for those who find themselves in the worst situations, in the darkest of places. It will be there in all things and through all things according to the promises of our Heavenly Father handed down to us. We are His beloved children, those beloved children He has promised never to fail or forsake, come what may, come what must, come powers and principalities, come sin, death and the Devil, come the power of the grave, there is no captivity that God the Father cannot conquer. There is no captivity that He has not conquered. And through His Son, our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus, He shall set all captivity free, and He shall ransom His children through all things.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.