#DailyDevotions Living Out The Name Of Jesus In Our Daily Lives

#DailyDevotions Living Out The Name Of Jesus In Our Daily Lives

Romans 1217Don’t pay back evil for evil. Be concerned with things that everyone considers noble. 18As much as you can, live in peace with everyone. 19Don’t take revenge, dear friends, but let God punish, because the Bible says: “I alone have the right to avenge. I will pay back,” says the Lord. 20But, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you’ll heap burning coals on his head.” 21Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.

As we pick up from yesterday’s devotion we remember these exhortations are not without power for they don’t flow from our own innate power or ability but they flow from the “mercies of God” which all the Gospel from chapters 1-11 in Romans. As such I don’t know if I’d even call these commandments as much as they come off more as wisdom literature like the Proverbs.

Paul is not just making this stuff as he goes along. Being steeped in scriptural study as a Pharisee rabbi he is drawing particularly from these passages, which you can go look up: Prov. 20:22, Psalm 34:14; Prov. 12:20; Lev. 18:19;  Prov. 24; Deut. 32:35, 43;  Exo_23:4-5; Pro_25:21-22.

As far as moral law and wisdom goes, Christianity teaches nothing new that wasn’t already taught in the Old Testament. It does however focus on not only the outward actions (like the Pharisees and Scribes represented in the four Gospels) but the heart that produces them (like we see in Jesus sermon on the mount and on the plain). Remember that ancient Israel was to be a witness to the name of YHWH to the nations that pass through it and to the world. That name was, Ex. 34”6“the LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, slow to get angry, rich in love and faithfulness, 7continuing to show mercy to thousands, forgiving wrong, rebellion, and sin, without treating it as innocent, but disciplining children and children’s children to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their fathers.”

This way of living flows from how our Father in heaven has treated us in Christ Jesus. Jesus of Nazareth is the name of YHWH in the flesh instead of the tabernacle and the temple present with us and for us. It is Jesus who didn’t pay us back for our evil but went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. It is Jesus who didn’t take revenge on us but received in himself the wrath of God. It is Jesus who has fed us with his body and blood to eat and to drink. It is Jesus who conquered us who were evil with his good.

As his people who have received all this goodness from him and who have been born of God through the waters of baptism, having received the name of God upon ourselves, being joined to the temple which is Jesus’ body, these things Paul tells us to do flow as witness to the name of God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit which been place on us and lives in us, to the glory of his holy name and for the salvation of those we meet who are not in that name yet.

Heavenly Father you revealed your name to the Israelites on Sinai and you have more fully revealed your name in our LORD Jesus Christ. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to that name in our lives so that especially our enemies may be turned into our friends even as you have made us your friends. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Not Just A Laundry List Of Do’s & Don’ts

#DailyDevotion Not Just A Laundry List Of Do’s & Don’ts

Romans 129Love sincerely. Hate evil; cling to what is good. 10Love one another tenderly as fellow Christians. Outdo one another in showing respect. 11Don’t be backward in zeal. Let your spirit glow. Serve the Lord. 12Be happy in your hope, patient in trouble, and keep busy praying. 13Share what you have with the holy people who need it. Eagerly welcome strangers as guests.4Bless those who persecute you; bless, and don’t curse them. 15Be happy with those who are happy; weep with those who weep. 16Live in harmony with one another. Don’t be too ambitious, but go along with the humble ways of others. Don’t think you are wise.

While Paul may have what seems like a beginning of a new thought here in the laundry list of things to do we should remember the controlling and interpretive verse this section is still verse one, “I appeal to you, fellow Christians, by the mercies of God, to give your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, and so worship Him as thinking beings.” The “mercies of God” is the enabling agent of these acts describing the Christian life. Those are described and proclaimed to us in chapters 1-11. We just refer to it as the Gospel, or the free gift of forgiveness, life and salvation won and bought for us by Jesus and given to us freely.

Now verse nine here is a the top end of what I call a love sandwich the other piece being the last verse twenty-one which we will look at tomorrow. We should also understand this list of things to do isn’t exhaustive and is illustrative only. Paul will sum it all up later with Jesus’ command to love your neighbor. Paul wants us to love sincerely. He isn’t talking about feelings here. The love here and in most of the New Testament has more to do with charity and benevolence. But we are called to act this way towards others from our hearts and not because we have to.

Such love must hate evil because to love evil is to act contrary to love. If you enjoy evil things you are hurting yourself and your neighbor whether or not you or they think they are not. It doesn’t engage in the things God has forbidden. So we are to cling to those things which are good, that which helps our neighbor. To love your fellow Christians is to follow what Christ told the apostles which is different than your pagan neighbor. We love our fellow Christians as Christ has loved us, selfless and sacrificially.

The hope Jesus gives us should be our happiness not worldly things (those are just langniappe—a little something extra). Being patient in troubles, enabled by that hope, we should be in constant prayer for ourselves and for others. Generosity towards our fellow Christians and towards those on the outside should mimic God’s generosity given us in Christ Jesus.

Blessing those who hate us and persecute us is again Christ living out his life in us. As we have opportunity we should engage in this behavior. How will they have a change of heart and how will our hearts be at rest if we do not bless them for whom Jesus died?

Be with people where they are at and be empathetic. Rejoice with those rejoicing and weeping with those weeping. He encourages us to be humble. Remember the LORD God humbled himself to death, even death on a cross for you.

Heavenly Father, continually remind us of your great gifts to us and give us your Holy Spirit so that as your children, we may act and be as you act and are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Return To The LORD Jesus Christ & Be Restored

#DailyDevotion Return To The LORD Jesus Christ & Be Restored

Jeremiah 1519So the LORD said this: “If you will return, I will restore you and you will stand before Me. If you will bring out what is precious from what is worthless, you will speak for Me. These people should come back to you, but you should not go back to them. 20I will make you a bronze wall that these people can’t climb. When they fight against you, they will not win against you, because I will be with you to save you and rescue you,” says the LORD. 21“I will rescue you from wicked men and free you from the power of tyrants.”

Yesterday, we heard Jeremiah’s complaint to the LORD. It ended with him basically accusing the LORD of lying in an indirect way. You may feel that way yourselves sometimes. We must remember we are one of many cogs (though individually loved and known) which a purpose greater than which can imagine our part in it and well we just don’t always know how or why God is going to use our personal tragedy.

The LORD calls Jeremiah to shuv, to return, to repent. He doesn’t say what to repent of or turn to, but based on what follows I think he means to return to the LORD. You can imagine a child stomping off after being chastised by his parents shouting and stomping their feet. The parent gently calls them to come back. The LORD is telling Jeremiah if he returns to him, then he will return to Jeremiah and restore him. By restore him I believe he means that he will give him the strength to continue his mission. After we have a tantrum with the LORD it is good for us to turn back to the LORD with faith and trust. He will provide us with our daily bread, whatever we need to continue on with life.

These next words from the LORD to Jeremiah in a sense make him a prefigure of Jesus the LORD. The people Jeremiah preaches to should return to him, to hear his word and submit to it. He should go to them and submit to them. With the words of the LORD upon his lips the LORD makes Jeremiah as a brass wall. No matter how much the leaders and rulers, the priests and prophets fight against Jeremiah they will not overcome him or his word. The LORD promises he will be with Jeremiah, save him and rescue him. Indeed, while Jeremiah often gets the brunt of the people’s anger and he suffers much, Jeremiah is ultimately delivered by the LORD.

In similar fashion, because of the testimony of his mouth, our LORD Jesus Christ suffered much at the hands of men, Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, the priests and the government. They did punish him and kill him on a cross. As such, we must see ourselves in Christ in this life. The deliverance and rescue we are looking for may not always come in this life. Jesus went to the cross, died and was buried. You too, or someone you love may suffer and eventually end up dead. Yet the Father rescued and delivered Jesus on the third day. He rose never to suffer or die again. He is raised to eternal life and reigns with the Father at his right hand. In similar fashion, the Jesus’ presence will give us courage and strength during the course of our trials, even unto death. But Jesus is returning. He is the LORD who rescues, saves and delivers. He will raise us up also, all who trust in him, from the dead to eternal life. We too will live and reign with him forever.

Heavenly Father, grant us your Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus that we may return to you every day that we may stand in your merciful presence and be restored to strength to face the day. On the Last Day, raise us to everlasting life to live and reign with your Son Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Bring Your Complaint To The LORD

#DailyDevotion Bring Your Complaint To The LORD

Jeremiah 1515LORD, You understand.Remember me, come to help me, and take vengeance on those who pursue me. You are very patient; don’t let me be snatched away. You know that for Your sake I’ve been insulted. 16When Your words were found, I devoured them, and Your Word became a joy to me and delighted my heart because I bear Your name, LORD, God of armies. 17I didn’t keep company with people who laugh and have fun. A I sat alone because Your hand had taken hold of me and You had filled me with indignation. 18Why is there no end to my pain, no cure for my wound that refuses to heal? Are You actually like a deceitful brook to me, water that fails?

There are a number of people who complain to the LORD in the Old Testament. Job is probably the well known of them. Second to Job is Jeremiah. Jeremiah has one whole book in the Old Testament called Lamentations consisting solely of his complaint to the LORD. But what we will see is there is a difference from complaint or lament and plain old grumbling like the Israelites did in the wilderness with Moses. With the Israelites they complained without faith. They did not appeal to the promises or word of God when they complained. They did not believe the LORD would do anything about their condition.

Let us look though at the complaint or lament of Jeremiah in these words. He begins here with the LORD knowing or understanding what he is going through. It’s not as if he thinks God is not paying attention. Not only does the LORD know because he knows everything, but he knows what Jeremiah is going through personally.

Because of the LORD’s remembrance of Jeremiah, Jeremiah commands the LORD to do three things here, Remember, Help and take Vengeance. Remembering is a big thing. It calls upon the LORD to not only to remember you exist but that you exist in a covenantal relationship. Part of that relationship is to be of help to those who trust in him. Those who trust in the LORD trust that the LORD will fulfill his word and get vengeance on those who harm his people. As Paul says in quoting Deuteronomy, Romans 1219 “Don’t take revenge, dear friends, but let God punish, because the Bible says: ‘I alone have the right to avenge. I will pay back,’ says the Lord.”

Jeremiah then goes into his complaint. It seems as if God is too patient with his enemies. He is not rescuing Jeremiah quick enough. Jeremiah complains he’s done everything he is supposed to do. Even though Jeremiah took joy in the LORD’s word, had the LORD’s name and wasn’t foolish, the LORD had laid his hand upon them and had him sit in the dust. He questions whether the LORD had actually deceived him.

The good news here is like Jeremiah you can take your complaint to the LORD. You can remind the LORD of his promises because of Jesus Christ has done for you on the cross and his promise he will never leave you or forsake you. He will not shake you off when you complain about your situation when you remind him of what he has promised to do for you. Latch onto him and don’t let go.

Heavenly Father, open our mouths and put upon our lips complaints of trusting in you when we feel we have been abandoned, bearing the cross you have laid on us so we may more greatly trust in your promises. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Gives The Keys To The Kingdom To The Church

#DailyDevotion Jesus Gives The Keys To The Kingdom To The Church

Matt. 16 18I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of hell will not overpower it. 19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and anything you free on earth will be freed in heaven.” 20Then He warned the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ.

When Peter speaking for the disciples makes his confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God Jesus speaks these words to Peter and in conjunction with Peter the rest of the disciples. Jesus calls Simon, Peter, a rock. We know in the Gospel of John, Jesus name Simon when he first called him to be a disciples, but this is the first place in the gospel of Matthew that Jesus addresses him as such. Peter is not a name nor is Cephas (the Hebrew equivalent) that is in any other literature as a name before the Gospels and the New Testament Church came into being. It is a name specifically given to Peter by Jesus in their day and age.

Related to Peter, (which is petros, the Greek with a male ending) Jesus says he is going to build his church on this rock (petras, the Greek with a female ending—most foreign languages denote gender of noun, animate and inanimate). So while “this” has something to do with Peter, Peter and the “this rock” are distinguished by Jesus by his choice of words.

What is the rock, petras, that is the foundation of Jesus’ church? It is the confession that came from Peter’s, Petros, lips, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Indeed, this confession is the basis of all Christianity, Jesus is the anointed son of David and he is the eternal son of God, come into the world to fulfilled what he had promised through the Law and the Prophets. In this crazy world we live in where it seems as if Jesus’ church is consistently attacked we may wonder sometimes if it will survive. Jesus promises us, “the forces of hell will not overpower it.” Indeed, nothing can overcome Jesus’ Church. It may get beaten up, bruised and even lose limbs at times but better than the Engergizer Bunny, it takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  We need not fear the Church of Jesus Christ will ever be overcome. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father exercising all rule and authority on behalf of his bride the Church.

Now Jesus also says something else amazing. He tells Peter, who does represent all the apostles here, the keys to the kingdom of Heaven are given unto him. Whatever he frees is freed and whatever is bound is bound in heaven. What exactly is Jesus talking about? Is he to make some Laws binding on Christians while inventing new laws for Christians to keep? What are the keys to be used for? What’s being locked up? What’s being opened? The kingdom of heaven, that is what. Two chapters later Jesus tells us, 18“I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you set free on earth will be free in heaven. 19Again I tell you, if two of you here on earth agree to ask for anything, My Father in heaven will do it for you.” What is the context here? It is the forgiveness of sins. Here what Jesus told Peter is now given to the Church. It is not solely Peter’s to exercise. In John 20:23 Jesus tells all the disciples, 23Whenever you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; whenever you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” So the Church and her pastors may always bind and forgive sins, opening the kingdom to some and closing it to those who will not repent of their sins.

Heavenly Father, grant us your Holy Spirit that we may rightfully loosen and bind sins, open and close the kingdom of heaven to those to whom you have appointed it. May Christ’s promise always strengthen us in our faith so we may not lose hope. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Son of Man, The Son of The Living God

#DailyDevotion Jesus Is The Son of Man, The Son of The Living God

Matt. 1613When Jesus came to the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14“Some say John the Baptizer,” they answered, “others Elijah, still others Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15“Who do you say I am?” He asked them. 16“You are the Christ,” Simon Peter answered, “the Son of the living God!” 17“Blessed are you, Simon, son of John,” Jesus answered him, “because no flesh and blood, but My Father in heaven has revealed this to you.

There seems to be a lot of wild speculations and no certainty as to who the Son of Man was or was supposed to be in Jesus’ day. Jesus here is setting up Peter’s confession. Being one with the Father, Jesus knows what Peter is going to say but he wants to clear up any confusion the disciples themselves may have about who the Son of Man is, who Jesus is before he heads for the cross.

Now the answers the disciples give are what others are say or teach who the Son of Man is. Look at the answers, John the Baptizer, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Now in the Gospels Jesus speaks of himself or refers to himself in a one off way or third person way as being the Son of Man. Do the Scriptures themselves tell us who the Son of Man is? There is one place we should always go to see who this Son of Man is and that is Daniel seven, 13“In the visions during the night I saw One coming with the clouds of the heavens like the Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14And He was given glory, power to rule, and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations, and those of every language should serve Him. His authority is everlasting and will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” Now a figure coming with the clouds should bring to mind the clouds on Mount Sinai, the pillar of cloud with led the people Israel and which filled the tent of meeting. It is the signifier of the presence of the LORD, i.e. Yahweh. The Son of Man is Yahweh and he is one with the Ancient of Days, the Father.

But why Son of Man? For that we must go to Genesis chapters 3 and 4. In Chapter 3 the LORD tells the serpent, 15“And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your descendants and her Descendant. He will crush your head, and you will bruise His heel.” In chapter 4 the woman says, “I have gotten a man, the LORD.” This descendent who overcomes the serpent is the son of man and he is the LORD himself. The Son of Man is a divine and human person, 100% God and 100% human.

Which comes to Peter’s answer to Jesus’ question to all the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Now Peter on behalf of the group (because he is no doubt the leader of the disciples) speaks out, “You are the Christ,” Simon Peter answered, “the Son of the living God!” Yes, that is who Jesus is. As Jesus testifies, we cannot believe and confess this unless the Father reveals it to us. As St. Paul says, “No can confess Jesus is Yahweh except by the Holy Spirit.” Jesus is the Seed who has crushed the head of the serpent. He is the one who will indeed come at the end of days on the clouds and usher us into his kingdom. He is the one who died on the cross for our sins, raised for our justification and sits at the right hand of the Father in glory. Believe in Jesus today and be part of his kingdom.

Heavenly Father, so reveal Jesus as your Christ in our hearts that we may confess him as the Son of Man and be received into his kingdom at his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion By The Mercies Of God Be Living Sacrifices

#DailyDevotion By The Mercies Of God Be Living Sacrifices

12 I appeal to you, fellow Christians, by the mercies of God, to give your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, and so worship Him as thinking beings. 2Don’t live like this world, but let yourselves be transformed by a renewing of your minds so you can test and be sure what God wants, what is good and pleasing and perfect. 3As God gave me His gift of grace for every one of you, I tell you, don’t think too highly of yourselves, but take a sane view of yourselves, everyone according to the measure of faith God gave you. 4We have many parts in one body, and these parts don’t all do the same thing. 5In the same way, many as we are, we are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another. 6We have gifts that are different according to what His grace gave us.

Chapters 12 and following are completely based then on everything spoken and taught in chapters 1-11. Paul is not speaking to the world but to Christians who have been taught everything that has preceded this. What follows, the instructions he gives Christians is based on this one phrase here, “by the mercies of God.”  This might bring to mind of a recent lectionary reading from the Old Testament where God appeals to the mercies of David.  Mercies here is a different word in the Greek which also has the overtones of compassion, from the gut. Probably the most important part it is from God. The mercies of God here summarize all of what preceded this chapter.

So based on the fact that God has had mercy on us and even more so by the agency, or empowerment and transformation of our total being by these mercies, Paul instructs us to give our bodies as a living, holy, pleasing sacrifice to God. We are not offering ourselves on altars to be sacrificed and burnt, though the world may do that to us. No it is in the daily living of our lives which is offered to God as a reasonable worship and service to him and to our fellow man. Part of this is not living like the rest of the world. The world lives by tit for tat. You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours and you hit me once I hit you back twice. There is no mercy or grace in the world.

The LORD Jesus has given us a new mind and has begun transforming it to his likeness and image. Paul instructs us to let the LORD by the Holy Spirit to continue to transform our minds to his. We do that by being in his word, receiving the sacraments and trusting what God has promised there. This is enable us to test what God wants us to do. Unlike the Israelites he has given a laundry list of things to do and not do, and while Paul here in Romans and other letters gives us a few lists and dos and don’ts , these are never meant to be exhaustive or restrictive. We have been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves and to love our brothers and sisters in Christ in particular. The running theme in how we should act is that we not think too highly of ourselves but a sane view of ourselves. Recognize the talents and abilities God has given you and use them to serve others out of mercy, kindness, love, patience and the like just as God in Christ Jesus has served you. When you are not sure what that looks like, you do have the lists, both the Ten Commandments, the Sermons of the Mount and Plain and Paul’s lists. Having exercised yourself in these things when something new comes up you can ask yourself, how can I show mercy and love in this situation as the Lord has had mercy on me.

Heavenly Father, by your great mercies you have called us to be your holy people. By your mercies now in Christ Jesus renew our minds so we many think your thoughts and do your works here and now to your glory and praise. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion All Glory, Praise & Honor To Father, Son & Holy Spirit

#DailyDevotion All Glory, Praise & Honor To Father, Son & Holy Spirit

Romans 1133How deep are God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge; how impossible it is to find out His decisions and trace His ways! 34“Who has found out how the Lord thinks? Or who has become His adviser?” 35 Or who has first given Him something for which he must be paid back? 36 Everything isfrom Him, by Him, and for Him. To Him be glory forever. Amen.

According to some there is a bit of a doxology, a praise to the Holy Trinity in this doxology. While no particular person is singled out verse thirty-three is part one with a trinity of riches, wisdom and knowledge. Verses 34 and 35 has trinity of “who.” The third trinity has from, by and for him.  The last phrase brings them all together as one. We are not sure if Paul is quoting some well known hymn at the time or quoting something from the rabbis of the time and readjusting it to the praise of the Trinity. But we do have a well thought out praise of God.

This doxology is proclaimed as a culmination of everything Paul has written up to this point in Romans. Indeed the whole of Romans up to this point has been one big doxology of praise of how the LORD God has saved the human race through Jesus Christ our Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing this salvation to us.

Finishing up Romans with the God’s election of Gentiles and Jews, the mystery of Christ wherein both Jew and Gentile are made one people in Jesus really brings out the proclamation in verse 33 and the questions of verse 33 and 34. Looking at how Paul describes our condition as all condemned by the Law, both Jew and Greek, seeing how we are all declared righteous though faith in Christ’s work, and seeing how we are all joined together as one people in Christ through baptism shows us how deep are God’s riches, wisdom and knowledge. We may indeed wonder why he has decided to these things these ways yet we end up with Paul saying, “how impossible it is to find out His decisions and trace His ways!

34“Who has found out how the Lord thinks? Or who has become His adviser? 35 Or who has first given Him something for which he must be paid back?” Is this not our LORD Jesus Christ. He alone has had council with his Father in heaven before creation as the Word of God, the Son of God. What we know about God the Father, his thinking, his plans, his will for us, has not Jesus been the one to reveal these things to us? In John 15 Jesus tells us, “But I’ve called you friends because I’ve told you everything I heard from My Father.”

We are humbled by the closing Trinitarian phrase, “Everything isfrom Him, by Him, and for Him.” We may be the apple of God’s eye and the center of his universe but we must remember everything thing is from God. We didn’t make anything in this universe. Only the Lord made everything. We weren’t his agents in creation. Jesus was the agent of creation as the Word of God. Everything is for him. We are the recipients of everything God has made but we were made for him. To the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be glory forever for their great work of creation and redemption and salvation of their work.

Heavenly Father, apart from your son Jesus Christ we would not be able to plumb the depths of your riches, wisdom and knowledge. Continually give us your Holy Spirit that we may believe all you have revealed to us so we may rightly praise you and give you all honor and glory, through Jesus Christ our LORD, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now  and forever, Amen.

#DailyDevotion Listen Israel & Hear You Nations Jesus Is The LORD’s Torah & Mighty Arm

#DailyDevotion Listen Israel & Hear You Nations Jesus Is The LORD’s Torah & Mighty Arm

Isaiah 51. 4Listen to Me, My people, and hear Me, My nation; from Me the Law goes out, and My justice as a light for the nations. 5I am here to do what is right. I’m on My way to save. My arms will judge the nations. The lands by the sea will eagerly wait for Me and put their trust in My arm. 6Look up to heaven, and watch the earth below. The heavens will disappear like smoke, the earth wear out like a garment, and those who live there will die like gnats. But I will always save and never be stopped from doing what is right.

The LORD is appealing here to his people Israel before they are carted off by the Assyrians for not trusting in the LORD and worshiping vain idols. He calls on them to listen to him, even as he did in the giving of the Torah a second time, Deut. 6 4“Listen, Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD. 5Love the LORD your God with all your mind, all your heart, and all your strength.” Now he says the Torah goes out from him and his justice as a light for the nations. Israel did not heed the Torah at the mountain when they left Egypt. They did not listen after entering the promise land after he gave it a second time. But he say, “Listen to Me, My people, and hear Me, My nation..”

The LORD is here to do right and he was on his way to save. He wasn’t there to save them from the Assyrians, unless of course they repented, which they didn’t. His arm will judge the nations. To judge here is not only to condemn, but to judge is to save from enemies as we see in the book of Judges where the LORD sends judges to save his people from their enemies. We see that in the second half of this verse. The lands by the seas will eagerly wait for him and put their trust in his arm. These means nothing less than the Gentiles wait also for the LORD to save them and for the LORD to save them from their enemies by his mighty arm.

It is written in Deut. 18, 15“The LORD your God will raise a Prophet for you, one of you, an Israelite, like me; listen to Him… 17The LORD told me: ‘They’re right in what they ask. 18I will raise a Prophet for them, One of their fellow Israelites, like you; I will have Him speak My Word, and He will tell them everything I order Him.” The LORD spoke again in Matthew 175“This is My Son Whom I love and delight in. Listen to Him!” Jesus is that prophet. Jesus is the Torah of the LORD.  He is the LORD’s right arm to save. He says in John, 524 “I tell you the truth, if you listen to what I say and believe Him Who sent Me, you have everlasting life, and you will not be judged, but you have come from death to life.”

Listen Israel! Listen O you nations! Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the LORD’ Torah and mighty arm. Listen to him! Trust his word. Believe on him and you will be saved. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 1555“Where, Death, is your victory? Where, Death, is your sting? 56Sin gives death its sting, and the Law gives sin its power. 57But thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus risen from the dead is God’s right arm to save us from death and raise us to everlasting life, everyone who believes in him and listens to him.

Heavenly Father, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to instruct Israel and the nations, to save them from sin and death. Open our ears that we may hear and trust him and thereby be saved by his mighty arm from death to eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.