Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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August 20 – God And His Treasured Ones

“A Song. A Psalm of Asaph. O God, do not keep silence; do not hold Your peace or be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make an uproar; those who hate You have raised their heads. They lay crafty plans against Your people; they consult together against Your treasured ones. They say, ‘Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!'”  Psalm 83:1-4

Devotional Thought For The Day

We encounter here another example of “imprecatory” intercession – calling upon God to protect His people from their enemies and to pour out His anger and justice upon those who persecute them. Those infected by the notion that all religions are basically the same, and that even Christians must show deference and respect for the “false gods” of other religions, are surely offended by such prayers. In such psalms, however, we are shown what such false religions are really aimed at – hatred of God and the erasure of all true knowledge of His love, mercy, and forgiveness in Christ Jesus, and the extermination of all those in whom God has begun and granted a new life in Christ. Imagine what the world would be like if they were to succeed.

It is not “Israel” as a nation that is important, but rather that “Israel” is God’s people, those who belong to Him, His “treasured ones.” The argument of the psalmist is that all attacks on God’s people of faith are really attacks against God; God and His people stand together, and what happens to the one also happens to the other. None of this applies to the modern nation of Israel, whose citizens are for the most part either atheistic, agnostic, or secular [with a small group of zealous adherents to various forms of Judaism]. This modern nation, like its Islamic neighbors, has little tolerance for Christianity and has laws that prohibit the free exercise of discipleship to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In some respects these modern people are among those who are enemies of God and His treasured people of faith, although they are certainly less violent in their persecution of the church than their Muslim neighbors.

What was true in regard to God’s love for His people back in the time of the psalmist is still true to this day.  Those who know and believe the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus, those who hear and keep Christ’s Word, who follow Him, remain His dearly beloved people, His “treasured ones.”  God still identifies Himself with His people and stands with them – and though He has His own plan and schedule, He still protects and preserves His people. And when we pray for His protection and deliverance we do so not out of personal anger, malice, hatred, or vengeance, but rather for the sake of God’s Name, His glory, and the blessings that come into the world through the knowledge of His great and glorious love in Christ Jesus. On a personal level, we know that we are called to forgive, love, and do good even to those who hate us and persecute us [as they do God].

It is reality to this day that God has enemies who plot and plan the destruction of His people, those who bear His Name. Whether by outright violence or by craft and stealth, there are many who seek to destroy the knowledge of God’s gracious love, mercy, and forgiveness in Christ Jesus. So also to this day God’s people cry out for His protection, and that He bring glory, honor, and respect to His Name.  Today we do the same.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, do not let us forget Your closeness to us, Your promises to protect us, and that we remain Your treasured ones. Help us to face persecution and treachery with quiet and humble courage and confidence. We pray that Your Kingdom come – and we know that it will. All praise, honor, and glory be to You.  Amen.