Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

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Lafayette, CO 80026
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November 23 – Understanding The Steadfast Love Of The Lord

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’ Let the house of Aaron say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’ Let those who fear the LORD say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’ Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.” Psalm 118:1-5

Devotional Thought For The Day

Obviously this is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to God – and one that calls upon all people of God to join in the thanksgiving. The principle affirmation – which serves as the basis for praise of God – is the steadfast love of God which endures forever. This steadfast love of the Lord is actualized in His acts of deliverance and mercy. The psalmist will refer to these as the psalm moves forward. The context is martial – the immediate threat was external, the ungodly and hateful nations that surrounded, threatened, and attacked Israel at the time. This was the psalmist’s “distress.”

As we go through these verses we will contemplate the conflict that exists in the world, and God’s resolution of the “battles” that are constant in human history – which are often a matter of evil trying to eradicate good [although some conflict and violent battle is one evil against another evil]. We are quite preoccupied today with ending “violence” and “living in diversity” – but there is a terrible naiveté and myopia that threatens to befog us. The world has always suffered conflict, and wise people have always understood that there are circumstances that are far worse than open warfare and violence. Our nation began with such thinking – that enslavement, injustice, persecution, and abuse were evils to be fought against, that freedom and human dignity were matters that required fighting for if necessary. This also goes to the matter of “diversity” – there are opinions and positions that are incompatible and mutually exclusive; you can’t have slavery and also consider it a grotesque injustice, you can’t have abortion and also consider it murderous, you can’t have homosexual unions and also consider it a moral abomination.

The psalm is also “Messianic,” in that Jesus quotes one of the following verses in this psalm as applying to His coming and His mission. That a Messianic reference should occur within the context of a warriorly psalm that celebrates the annihilation of evil enemies would seem incoherent to people captivated by the naïve notion that all we need is greater tolerance of diversity and a one-sided commitment to non-violence. You see the befogging and the mental confusion – in the end, Christ came for nothing – He should have simply accepted the diversity of various evils; and there is no need for a day of judgment – God should cease His violent opposition against His evil enemies. The grotesque myopia of this is in forgetting that evil is always violent and evil; it is always oppressive and painful for human beings. We may be able to intellectually and philosophically forget this during times of relative safety, comfort, and ease – by asserting that everything is relative; but these arguments are absurd, ridiculous, malicious, and even sadistic for those currently being murdered and mutilated and enslaved by evil. Perhaps a taste of such misfortune will be required to restore sanity to those whose minds have been numbed by current political correctness.

The steadfast love of the Lord can only be seen against the backdrop of evil – and seeing all evil for what it actually is, and what it seeks to accomplish, which is the ultimate annihilation of what is good, including God and His people. This has always been the most basic aspect of life in a fallen and sinful world, and for all the desire that we have for peace and to be peacemakers, we must once again come to grips with the reality that freedom, peace, and decency always have a price which some are required to pay. The myopic pacifists and do-gooders must not be allowed to claim a higher moral ground; they are actually siding with and fraternizing with the enemy, and ultimately they will experience the disastrous consequences of such foolishness.

In the meantime, we must see clearly the great blessedness of the steadfast love of the Lord – that it delivers us from real enemies, from real evil, and from real suffering and disaster. This includes all that the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, accomplished for us in His own suffering, death, and resurrection. And it includes all that He continues to do for us each day in delivering us from evil, and keeping us from temptation. And most joyfully and gloriously, it includes all that He is soon to do for us and for all His people in bringing evil to a complete and final end – on the Last Day. So let us heed the psalmist’s encouragement and say: “His steadfast love endures forever.” Thanks and praise be to God eternally!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, we know of Your gentleness and kindness toward us and toward all who seek good but who are being pummeled by the violent wickedness of sin, hatred, and evil. Keep us from the smug and arrogant deceit of the evil one, who has captured the minds of so many who now think of evil as neutral and benign – and who parade themselves as sophisticated and good. Preserve our nation from being overtaken by this deception, and awaken minds to see the threat and embolden hearts to react with courage and confidence. Keep us in Your steadfast love, protect and preserve all of Your dear children, and keep Your church from being inundated and destroyed by the evil around us. Amen.