Meditation

04/13/2020

O Lord, you have heard their insults, all their plots against me—-what my enemies whisper and mutter against me all day long. Look at them! Sitting or standing, they mock me in their songs. Pay them back what they deserve, O Lord, for what their hands have done. Put a veil over the hearts, and may your curse be on them! Pursue them in anger and destroy them from under the heavens of he Lord.(Lamentations3:61-66)

The prophet sought vindication from God against his enemies. God hears our frustrated, angry cry for vengeance but does not want us to take vengeance in our own hands.

As we share our dark feelings with God, we need to forgive our enemies, for He sees and hears all that takes place and it is His place to judge those for their words and actions, not ours. It is appropriate to take our troubles to God, but it is not appropriate for us to dictate to Him whatever His actions ought to be.

PRAYER FOR THE DAY:

Precious Abba, seeking vindication for what others do to us is our human response to what others say or do to us. Jesus has taught us another way. We are to love others, always remembering that You love all people, even those who may seek to harm us through hurtful words or claims that are not true. Help us to respond in the love of Christ, that in our doing so, we might affect those who mean us harm, to realize that they only make themselves look childish or immature. We are to forgive those who seemingly mean us harm, for this takes away the sting of anything they may say or do. This we pray in Jesus’ precious name. Amen

THOUGHT OF THE DAY:

A peaceful heart finds joy in all of life’s simple pleasures.

KNOWING GOD:

The land by the sea, where the Kerethites dwell, will be a place for shepherds and sheep pens. It will belong to the remnant of he house of Judah; there they will find pasture. In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon. The Lord their God will care for them; he will restore their fortunes. ‘I have heard the insults of Moab and he taunts of the Ammonites, who insulted my people and made threats against their land. Therefore, as surely as I live,’ declares the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, ‘surely Moab will become like Sodom, the Ammonites like Gomorrah—-a place of weeds and salt pits, a wasteland forever. Theremnant of my people will plunder hem; the survivors of my nation will inherit their land.’ This is what they will get in return for their pride, for insulting and mocking the people of the Lord Almighty. The Lord will be awesome to them when he destroys all the gods of the land. The nations on every shore will worship him, every one in its own land. (Zephaniah2:6-11)

God promises rich and abundant blessings to those called by His name. Judah may have envied the Philistines and Moabites, but God promised fortunes would be reversed. God’s remnant knows He will overcome all opposition in the end. Attacking God’s people is sin against God. Judah’s eastern neighbors ridiculed me misfortunes of God’s people. They made themselves great at Judah’s expense. Why do people heap scorn and reproach on others? It is to bolster their own pride! Such pride is he foundation on which a life of sin is built. Pride makes us focus on self instead of God. Verbal attacks against God’s people to boost personal pride are me by God’s angry reaction, beloved. Think about this, though, God’s judgment brings about an opportunity for evangelism. As God judges the sins of people, some learn to worship before the Lord. In sincere worship, which implies a true turning to God in repentance, they can find forgiveness an life through faith.

I AM:

The Lord has vindicated us; come, let us tell in Zion what the Lord our God has done. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: See, I will defend your cause and avenge you; I will dry up her sea and make her springs dry.” (Jeremiah51:10, 36)

God’s salvation is referred to as His vindication. This represents courtroom language. God defends the rights of His people and punishes all who abuse those rights. Thus, humans do not need to seek revenge. We are to be witnesses testifying to what God has done. The Lord promised to defend Israel’s cause and to avenge her against Babylonia. He vindicates all who trust in Him.

Second Thought of the Day:

An oracles concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite. The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies. The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh; ‘You will have no descendant to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile.’ Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.” (Nahum 1:1-2, 14-15)

God promised to vindicate Israel against the Ninevites. Verse 15 is related to Isaiah 40:9 and 52:7. Paul applied Isaiah’s quote to the gospel Romans 10:15. Ultimately, God vindicates all persons in Christ who believe the gospel. Nahum understood God as the Lord of history. God is not to be trifled with, beloved. He is the Judge of the whole earth. He disciplines His guilty people, but He turns to avenge them from mistreatment by their enemies. Vindication brings salvation to God’s people but destruction to those who oppose God and His people.

Fortunately, Christ came to suffer for us on the cross. He is the One who puts us in right relationship with god through His sacrificial death as the loving and compassionate Suffer Servant. Simply put, beloved, it is a free gift, offered to us by accepting God through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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