Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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November 20 – The Value Of A Faithful Messenger

“Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.” Proverbs 25:13

Devotional Thought For The Day

All of the commentators agree about the meaning of the comparison – the “cold of snow in the time of harvest” refers to the ancient practice of keeping snow in crevices, caves, or dugout areas and retrieving it in the hot summer months to cool drinks with it.  I was unaware that this was practiced in antiquity but it makes sense as these people were remarkably intelligent and clever.  Those who are familiar with the settling of America may remember that this was quite common prior to utilization of electricity and the development of “cooling devices,” refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners.  Many people had underground storage areas and one of the winter jobs was to “cut” ice blocks from a nearby river or lake and haul them back to the ice house.  The temperature in these underground areas would be similar to refrigeration late into the summer months.

The method of cooling was not the same as our use of ice cubes – which are made with pure water and placed right in the drink.  The thought however is the same – that a “faithful messenger” is as refreshing as a glass of iced tea on a hot summer day in Nebraska or Georgia or Texas.  Most of us have experienced this delightful and luxurious, though common, form of refreshment.  At least it is common in developed countries.  Even though it is quite common, I’m not sure that we appreciate a “faithful messenger” as highly as a cold drink.  We assume that communication should be simple, and that a messenger ought to be reliable – and if not we are thoroughly disappointed and disgusted, and would likely consider firing him.  Of course with our many modern means of communication – phones, cell phones, fax machines, email, and texting – we rarely have to rely on other people to convey our messages.  Still, there are times when people represent us to others – and it is quite satisfying when they do so accurately and faithfully, especially if the matter is important.

There is one area in life that “messengers” are still essential, and that is in the conveying of God’s Word.  We are all privileged to “show forth the praises of Him Who called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.” [1 Pet. 2:9]  However, those who are “teachers” [pastors especially] are “judged with greater strictness” [James 3:1] in regard to being “faithful messengers.”  We all have access to Holy Scripture, the written Word of God, and we should always emulate the Bereans, “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” [Acts 17:11], making sure that what we are being taught is consonant with God’s written Word.  Our teachers, however, are to be “masters” of God’s Word, able to quickly direct us to those passages that address our questions, issues, and concerns.  Given the nature of God, His great love for us, such faithful messengers of His Word not only refresh and please our Master, but they also refresh the souls of those who hear them.

I hate to be cynical, but there are numerous “religious” people who just don’t get it, that God really exists, that His written Word really is His Word, that He is present everywhere, knows all things, and that He demands that His messengers be “faithful” in communicating His Word to His dear people.  I shudder when I think of the judgment that is coming on those who have the audacity to claim that they represent God, that they are His messengers, who have little or no regard for His written Word, or who consider their own words to be more important or “newer” revelations from God. Lord, have mercy!  In reality, in regard to those entrusted with the stewardship of conveying to others the “mysteries of God,” “it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.” [1 Cor. 4:1,2] In view of all of this, just how refreshing and valuable do you consider a “faithful messenger” to be?  Even more than a cold drink?  May God grant us the wisdom to grasp the importance and value of the “faithful messenger.”

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, You were the perfect “faithful messenger” of the Father, conveying to all people God’s great love for us and His will that all people be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.  You supply the world with Your messengers to this day – though there are also many false teachers in the world. Grant us grace to tell the difference, by comparing what is taught to Your written Word, and wisdom to properly value Your faithful messengers.  Amen.