Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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June 27 – The Gist Of God’s Calling

“‘Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to Me! There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god. I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.’ But My people did not listen to My voice; Israel would not submit to Me.  So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” Psalm 81:8-12

Devotional Thought For The Day

As we’ve noted earlier in this psalm, the call to repentance and back to faith in God and loyalty to God was a call to return to His “statutes” and “decrees,” back to the written Word of God.  This dynamic continues with God’s “admonition,” as He almost begs His people to simply “listen” to Him.  The matter is quite existential and basic – either you have the God Who speaks to us through His Word, which has been written down for us in Holy Scripture, the Bible, or you end up with “a foreign god,” a “strange god,” often one of your own making and invention.  The means by which God connects to us, in truth and for all truly good purposes and genuine blessedness, is through His Word – both of admonition, and the comfort of His faithfulness in delivering and blessing His people of faith, by His gracious, kind, and undeserved love for us.

The promises of God just in these verses are remarkable.  First, the reminder of His deliverance.  For the people who originally received the words of this psalm, this deliverance was the great Exodus which God accomplished through Moses, from bondage, slavery, and degradation in Egypt. We know of an even greater deliverance which God has accomplished for us in Christ Jesus [to which the Exodus points] – our deliverance from the bondage, slavery, and degradation of sin, guilt, and death. All of this blessed and wondrous love and gifting of God, which is eternal, has also come to us by His gracious, kind, and undeserved love for us.

Along with this deliverance and blessed salvation is another simple promise: “Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.” Again, this is a Word from God – an instruction, and a promise too broad and wonderful to fully grasp. We are encouraged to “hear” God’s Word, to receive Him as God, to rejoice in His salvation and deliverance, and to simply trust in Him – that passively heeding His Word we might experience the richness of His love and His blessings. In contrast to this, the vast majority of people continue to eagerly “earn” for themselves, position themselves for advantage over others, and reject the Word of God – both His gracious promises and His admonitions.

There comes a point in time when God allows people to plunge themselves into such stubborn rebellion – and when this happens they are “given over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.” They fully believe they are in the right in rejecting God, the only True and Living God, and following their own opinions, plans, actions, and “theologizing.”  Their invented, self-made gods, become real to them, and compelling to them, and they are incorrigibly committed to them. Though in their minds they are following a path of “light,” they are completely darkened, completely enslaved, and on the path which leads inexorably to the outer darkness of eternal condemnation.

God’s Word remains eternal, and eternally valid.  His promises are not reneged upon or revoked.  His eternal deliverance and salvation have been accomplished for all people – even those who will not hear His Word or acknowledge His blessed love, who insist upon clinging to their “strange” and “foreign” gods. His promise of earthly blessedness also remains in force, to those who will hear His Word and simply trust in Him. May we be among those who both hear and heed His Word, who have Him as our God and Lord.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, our great Redeemer and Savior, grant that we heed Your admonition to return to You in repentance and faith, that we acknowledge Your great salvation, receive Your admonition, and open our mouths to receive Your great blessings. Deliver us from all deference to “strange, foreign, and false gods.”  Keep us attentive to and continuing in Your Word. Amen.