Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mid-Day Devotion 10/20/09

David and Goliath, Titian, 1540s

“Have mercy upon me, O LORD; consider my trouble which I suffer of them that hate me, thou that liftest me up from the gates of death: that I may shew forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion: I will rejoice in thy salvation. The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight. Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.”
Psalm 9:13-20

Hope must always prevail…

In a world so given to wickedness and evil, a world so given to sin and suffering, hurt and pain, it is hope that must prevail even against all odds, even against the judgments of this age that tell us that the Lord, our God, has abandoned us or has died like some Olympian idol of those ancient days. It must be the triumph of the spirit even as the world around us tells us that our Heavenly Father, who has promised unto us such great and wondrous things, such amazing miracles, such blessed assurances, is not there.

There can be little question that David, the great and righteous king of Israel, had his moments of doubt and uncertainty as he looked to the world that was around him. He had been subjected to challenges in his life that he could have never even imagined, he faced trials that he never would have been able to have foreseen in his life. A humble shepherd tending his father’s flock how could have he really known what it was that was in store for him? How could have he really have even come close to predicting the twists and the turns, the undue hardship that his life would have as he found himself in those trying times of his life?

All around him he saw iniquity. Whether it was as Goliath, the hero of the Philistine, stood in the valley of Elah mocking God and looking upon his servant with contempt, ready to destroy him where he stood, or Saul, the first King of the people of Israel, chasing him through the nation, ready to kill him as soon as he caught him, or Absalom, his son, rising up in rebellion to overthrow him, David faced the hardest of tribulations and the greatest of turmoils in his life.

Yet, even through those darkest of days, even through those grimmest of challenges he knew that the hand of the Lord guided him and that He was sheltered under the wings of His righteousness. Even as iniquity seemed on the rise, even as evil seemed all around him and unrighteousness threatened to swallow him he trusted that the Lord, his God, was there by his side, keeping him safe as He protected him, letting not the sin of the corrupted swallow him whole.

He knew that God, loving and merciful, would care for the needy, and when the expectations of the poor and the afflicted were placed on Him he would not fail them or forsake them. He would not let the brutal pain that so threatened them overtake them and swallow them whole or prevail against them as evil sought to triumph over them. He would, in His judgment, offer them all that they needed to ensure the inevitable victory of the soul that came even amidst the cries and the longing of the spirit. Even as death seemed to be at the gates, even as it seemed to surround them, God would come upon them through the power of His Holy and Divine Spirit, to offer to them the peace and the comfort they so needed as He reconciled Himself unto them.

His hope, faithful and vigilant, devoted and miraculous, would always and forever reign even over the wicked iniquity of evil men who were guided by their own unrighteousness, even as it seemed like their power was unmatched and unstoppable even amidst this world.

Unchanging and inalterable in His very nature, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is there, in love, to give His hope unto His people even in the most trying of times of challenge and affliction, even amidst this present age, even amidst this current generation. So much so does He love His children, so much so does He give them hope that He would offer unto this world His only Son as a sacrifice to put an end to the captivity of sin, death and the Devil, ending that dark bondage, that grim slavery that so bound all men and women throughout the world to iniquity and unrighteousness, to suffering and sorrow.

If that is the love of God amidst captivity, ransoming a lost and fallen race through the precious blood of His beloved Son, giving unto us a Messiah, a Deliverer, who would make way our path back to our blessed Heavenly home, then how much more does He do, how much more can He do against the wickedness of men? The triumph of Christ Jesus over Satan, that old and ancient of adversaries, shows that there is no end to God’s power and His might, there is no end to His compassion and His love. Why then would we question the hope that we have in His mercy now when it is so needed amidst this temporal existence?

Yes there is wickedness and unrighteousness in this world, and it is going to inflict itself on the weak and the innocent, robbing the dignity from the lives of the people as it pretends that their lives have no value or integrity to it. Yet the character and the hearts of these people are known by the Lord, and He shall, in judgment, look upon their faces and tell them that their unrighteousness shall not stand, their evil shall not win the day, it shall not have the victory that they so seek, for He shall contend with the cause of His people and there is no dark or hidden place where they can keep themselves where He will be unable to find them.

It is there that we know He shall end the captivity of the prisoners, He shall put a stop to the persecution by tyrants, He will halt the trafficking of human flesh and let not slavery degrade the life that He has created for His divine purpose. He shall bring liberty and freedom to the poor and the oppressed, the needy and the afflicted even as they feel like all the world has forgotten about them. He shall hear their cries and see their faces, offering to them the comfort and the peace that has seemed so elusive to them.

This is the faithful assurance of His promises and we know that God is always devoted, completely and utterly to His Word.

Lose not hope even as this world seems set ablaze amidst the fires of chaos and wickedness and iniquity. Know then that God is on the move, that He is on the rise and that He is fighting for the cause of His people in this age as He has through all the ages, shining His light and His truth in this world, showing His grace and His compassion unto His people regardless of the challenge or the adversity. They shall not be given to suffering and sorrow for all time, nor shall He abandon them to agony and anguish as they are tortured and tormented by the rise of evil in this world. He shall be there to shine His love in their lives through all things, in all things according to the mercy He holds in His hands.

Have faith in that knowing that He shall forever and always remain true to that promise given unto David and unto all people in all places who look to Him as the source and the fount of all hope in this temporal existence, through this generation and all of the generations. He shall be there in truth and righteousness, present in mercy and in love for the cause of His people throughout the world, come what may, come what must.

In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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