Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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Mar. 9 – The Great Spiritual Conflict

“Hear the Word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word: Your brothers who hate you and cast you out for My Name’s sake have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see Your joy’ – but it is they who shall be put to shame.” Isaiah 66:5

Devotional Thought For The Day

There have always been people who claim to be speaking for God, acting for God, and feigning deep piety and zeal for God’s Name, but who remain in utter unbelief, error, deceit, and hypocrisy. Virtually all of the prophets were opposed by the rulers, the majority of the people, and even by the “religious” leaders.  For every prophet of God there were numerous false prophets – who often had the audacity to oppose the true prophets, to reject their words and mock them, and even to physically assault them and put them to death [see the comment of Jesus in Luke 13:34], and yet they claimed God’s blessing! This same opposition and persecution extended to those who paid heed to the true prophets of God, the simple, humble, faithful people who trembled at God’s Word. They too were “hated and cast out” because of their loyalty to God’s Word, their genuine adherence to His Name. In this verse God promises them relief from those who reject His Word and insist upon arrogantly using His Name deceitfully for their perverse purposes, in wretched hypocrisy.

These false prophets claimed “inspiration” from God, and claimed that the Spirit was leading them and guiding them [and they may have actually believed this] – but in reality it was that “spirit of darkness” who was merely disguising himself as “an angel of light.” [see 2 Chron. 18:13ff; and 2 Cor. 11:14] The only means of discernment for people, for those who witnessed these spiritual conflicts, was the Word of God – especially that which was written down, verifiable, objective, and accessible to all.  What conformed to the written Word of God could be relied upon; what conflicted with the written Word of God simply could not have come from God. Those whose teaching was fully consistent with God’s written Word were true prophets; those who taught contrary to any part of God’s written Word were false prophets. There was no middle ground.  So also there were always people who were deeply attentive to God’s Word, who trembled at God’s Word [such was their love for God and their devotion to the Word of God], and they adhered to the true prophets; and obviously there were always people with “itching ears” who sided with the false prophets, and against the true prophets, regardless of what could be clearly discerned about the competing sides from God’s written Word.

But the true prophets didn’t always prevail. In fact, they usually failed to gain any kind of large following, and those who did follow them were vulnerable, and experienced the same kind of abuse that was heaped upon the true prophets of God. So God promises these dear, humble, pious lovers of His Word that regardless of the pretensions, apparent ascendancy, and perverse behavior and claims of the wicked imposters, all would be turn out well for those who tremble at His Word – and that in the end, it is the imposters who “will be put to shame.” And though the true prophets and true followers of God often had to wait a long time under the affliction of unbelievers for God’s Word of judgment to be fulfilled upon their enemies, His Word inexorably and always was fulfilled – this is the entire record of Holy Scripture. And so, those who remain fully loyal to God, who tremble at His Word, and who refuse to blaspheme His holy and precious Name, take comfort and refuge at all times and in all circumstances in this promise and guarantee of God’s Word.

As Solomon, that most wise man once observed, “There is nothing new under the sun” [Eccl. 1:9},  so these same dynamics continue on to this very day – the written Word of God remains inviolate, clear, sure, certain, and in full force. It stands as witness against all who pervert and corrupt it, and who teach others to do so, regardless of their claims of having the Spirit. So also it still stands as protection and assurance over all who tremble at His Word and truly glorify His saving Name – they will be blessed while those who reject God’s Word will be put to shame. We too must wait patiently under the affliction of unbelievers, their false claims, their lying in the Name of God [Lord, have mercy!], their attacks, and their persecution – holding only to the Word of God. But in the end God always keeps His Word, and it will also turn out well for us if we remain faithful to Him. [Rev. 2:10]

Scripture Cited

Luke 13:34 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it!”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, Your whole life and ministry was conducted under the affliction of unbelievers, their resistance, rebellion against Your Word, rejection of Your authority, and insistence that they had the Spirit and were truly on the side of God. Even in the face of the great signs You performed, they only became more resolute in their determination to reject and pervert Holy Scripture, and to persecute and kill You. Defend us as we follow You, denying ourselves and taking up our own cross, and keep us firm in our faith and loyalty to Your Word, trusting Your promise of final deliverance and vindication. Amen.