Monday, October 26, 2009

Mid-Day Devotion 10/26/09

The Last Judgment, Michelangelo, 1541

“The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness. When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.”
Proverbs 11:5-7

They may seem as if they are in control, they may seem as if they have power and authority as they hold life to be cheap, as they rob the dignity from the lives of men, yet in the end they are the slaves, they are the captives, they are the ones held in bondage. For it is by their own unrighteousness, by their own evil and their own wickedness that they have chained themselves to sin and iniquity, showing hatred and contempt to their fellow man. They build their place in this world based on error and on fear, on pain and suffering, inflicting themselves on the spirits and the souls, the bodies and the minds of the innocent, ripping away all that is precious, all that has any meaning to them in their lives. They build their place amidst this temporal existence by turning their back on the Lord and His love. In that the Lord shall turn his back on them at the time of judgment.

All around us we see the fruits of unrighteousness, and the bitter seeds of scorn. We see men who make slaves of their fellow man, who persecute them amidst tyranny and oppression, who make them hostages in captivity, buying and selling flesh as if it was nothing more than cattle at the market. We see them working their own will, their own judgment, oblivious or ignorant, completely turned from the will of the Lord as they bring pain and suffering, hurt and sorrow, anguish and agony in all that they are, in all that they do. They work such wickedness in this world, bringing with them a hurt unlike anything we could ever have imagined in the lives of all of those who they affect, all of those that they touch.

They claim to do it for a cause or that they do it with justice on their side, yet in the end all they do bring is evil and iniquity as they cast the world into darkness and chaos. And for what? For their own gain. It is for no other reason than their own selfish gain. They do it for money or for power or for influence, they do it to quench their thirst for more as they show no care, no love for their fellow man, for those whom they hurt and cause to suffer amidst the torture and the torment that they inflict upon them. They dwell not in the light of the Lord but in the dark, gloomy places where they somehow believe that they are hidden from His sights and from His vision.

Unrighteousness follows them and wickedness is their calling, evil is their weapon and iniquity is their shield as they show that there is no depth that they will not sink to, no depth that they will not lower themselves to as they murder and they kill, as they tear families apart and forever scar the spirits and break the hearts of their victims. By this they show their true nature, they show their true character as they treat others as if animals in their hubris and their contempt, knowing nothing more than their own selfish ambition and their own spiteful wants.

There is no excuse that they can give, there is no reason that they can give that will make this somehow right or righteous, no argument that they can make that will make the slavery and the bondage, the captivity and the persecution that they bring acceptable. They have given themselves over to sin, choosing to follow a path of darkness and hatred, scorn and brutality as they work their way in this world, showing themselves to be agents of wickedness. They have gone down the road of the old Adversary who would seek to make slaves of all men, robbing them of all of their peace and their comfort. They have walked with him down his road and they have become a thorn that rips and tears at the flesh of men, destroying all who come in their sight as if they are a poison that is working through their system.

Yet God is clear… Our Lord, our Heavenly Father, He is clear and His message is a transcending message that comes to men throughout the generations, regardless of the age. Those who dwell in such iniquity, those who commit such brutal transgression with nothing but hatred and loathing in their hearts, those who act with such malice and contempt, they shall not have power or authority for long. By their own unrighteousness they shall fall. By their own sin they shall find that they have been robbed of their peace and their comfort just as they have robbed so many others of theirs for so long. Though they may seem strong, their power shall fade amidst the ages as God shows that ultimately they are weak and He is strong.

By His righteousness and through His mercy, in His love and according to His compassion He shall shine His truth in our lives and He shall show that such people, that such men, they will be broken amidst their own acts, amidst their own iniquity and sin. Yes it may seem as if they have the strength for now, it may seem as if they have the authority for now as they move throughout this world believing that they never shall be accountable for their actions or for the deeds that they do, for the pain that they so inflict. Yet that’s not the end of the story and this present age is not where it stops.

Throughout all the trials and tribulations, throughout all of the challenges and the adversity, even when it seems as if wickedness is on the rise and like pain is always right at the doorsteps, God is there to prove that it is He who has all of the power, that it is He who has all of the authority as He trips them in their iniquity. It is there that they shall fall amidst their own unrighteousness and their own hatred as they find that they cannot stand against the might of a living God who is forever and always at work in this world, contending with the cause of His people, walking beside them even as they seem lost amidst the great afflictions of this world.

The wicked and the unjust, they shall perish in their own iniquity as they find that they are unable to escape the judgment of the Lord and that they were unable to hide the brutal sins of their heart from Him no matter how hard it is that they may have tried. He sees it all and He knows it all and He shall not let it stand, for this is not His will and these are not His ways. There we know that He shall deliver His people from evil as He shows that His will, it will be done on earth as it is heaven, for, as He has shown through the life and the death, the encompassing sacrifice of Christ Jesus, His own begotten Son, for our reconciliation, we are precious to Him and He has love and compassion for us, as we are His children and He is our Heavenly Father.

Trust therefore in the judgment of the Lord and know that these things too shall come to pass as He shines His truth and His righteousness from above for our lives, in our lives, guiding us by His Holy and Divine presence, ensuring that we know His truth and His righteousness throughout all of our lives. Know that He is at work and that even though it may seem as evil is on the rise, the final power and authority belongs to the Lord, our God, amidst the tender mercy and the gracious precepts of His wings, in which He shall always and forever shelter us in according to His great love.

Trust in His power even against the present challenges, even in the present age and know that He shall never fail or forsake His people, that He is at work and He is putting to flight the transgressions and the captivity of iniquity and wickedness, just as Christ Jesus put it to flight on the cross so many generations before when He conquered the power of Sin, Death and the Devil and that dark captivity that we were bound to amidst those grim and bleak powers.

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

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