Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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February 12 – Grief For The Fallen

“Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”  Proverbs 25:25,26

Devotional Thought For The Day

These two verses go together principally to emphasize the disappointment involved in the latter – “a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”  Virtually every human being has experienced times of great thirst – and the wondrous refreshment of finally getting a drink of cold water.  Any water will do in such circumstances, but cool, fresh, clean water – ah, there is really nothing better when one is really thirsty. No luxurious food, no beverage, no pleasure, nothing that we find contentment or pride in equals the most simple relief and pleasure of cold water when we are truly parched.

This wonderful relief is equated with the feelings we get when we receive “good news from a far country.”  Most human beings also have the experience of being concerned about matters that are very important to them – usually involving someone very dear to them – that because of distance or other dynamics are beyond their control or even close monitoring.  We are concerned, perhaps even worried and anxious, for the good, safety, welfare, and success of our dear one.  We place them into God’s hands – and this alleviates some of our fear, but we remain eager for “good news” to come, confirming how God has answered our prayers and granted blessing to our loved one.  This is comparable to the comfort, relief, and joy of a cold drink of water when we are truly thirsty.  The inner pleasure that such good news brings is truly remarkable.

All of this is contrasted with the experience of a “righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”  What disappointment, when “dying of thirst,” to come upon only muddied, brackish, worthless water.  This is akin to hearing “bad news” from a distant country, that our loved one is in trouble, in peril, and in desperate need of help – and we are too far away to provide that support and help.  These are some of the greatest disappointments and trials that human beings can experience – and this is what seeing a “righteous man” succumbing to the “wicked” evokes, in God, and in those who are truly loving and godly. Obviously, the proverb is not talking about simple falls into sins of weakness – these occur daily, even among those who are strong believers in God, strong Christians.  What is being considered is a capitulation to the wicked, to wickedness – giving up repentance, joining up with the wicked, no longer affirming what is right and good, what accords with God’s Word, forsaking faith in Christ and the cause of Christ.  It is hard to measure the sorrow, disappointment, concern, fear, and trepidation that such failure produces in the hearts of those who remain among the righteous, believers in Christ.

We also experience this deep disappointment in our lives, at times far more frequently than we think we can bear.  We are at times fearful for our children, or for dear friends who seem to have drifted away from the church [Christ’s family], and especially for leaders in the church who have succumbed to arguments and influences which conflict with God’s Word, Holy Scripture, the Bible.  Temptations to “give way before the wicked” also come to us in abundance, and our own sinful flesh, including our weakened powers of real reason, remains quite vulnerable to the pressures that the wicked put on us. So we must beware, and we must also take care to continue within the mutual consolation and encouragement of the fellowship of Christ’s people.  When we fall, we must remember that the way remains open to our repentance, and that our heavenly Father remains eager to re-embrace us and to receive us back to Himself.  This is what Christ died for, and this is how faith grows strong and mighty, as we live in the assurance and comfort of God’s forgiveness even for our most egregious sins.  Such repentance and restoration strikes our fellow believers as joyfully and powerfully as “good news from a far country.”  God grant all of us more of such joy, and less of the disappointments.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, You are fully aware of all of the capitulations of Your dear children before the wicked.  You witnessed this in Your own dear disciples, in Your arrest and crucifixion.  Yet Your powerful love was able to restore those disciples – except for Judas.  Keep us mindful and watchful of the evil one, so that we do not give way before the wicked, and help us to speak the right words to recall those who have fallen, back to repentance and the joy of Your salvation.  Amen.