Reflections: August 8, 2020
Saturday of the Eighth Week after Trinity
By Joel Shaltanis
O God, save me by your name… (From the Introit for the Ninth Sunday after Trinity)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. David cries out to God in a time of trouble. He is being persecuted by King Saul, and the locals where he is hiding out, the Ziphites, have given him up (1 Samuel 23:19-29, 26:1-5). David is in trouble, his enemies are closing in, and danger is imminent. What does he do? He calls on the Name of the Lord.
As you know from your catechism, God's Name is more than His title. It is also His character and reputation. To call on the Name of the Lord is to call on God, who is all powerful and able to save. God commands us to use His Name correctly. How is this done? By doing what David did, namely, "Call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise and give thanks."
Where do you turn when danger is near? Many turn to false gods like money: "If only I were rich, then I wouldn't have to worry." Some turn to family and friends, the government, or doctors, depending on the problem they face. None of these things are bad in themselves. In fact, they can all be precious gifts of God intended for our good. The problem arises when we place our trust in the gifts and forget the Giver. God is "my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life." All of us fail to trust as we should. We worry and fret, placing our hope in the wrong things.
Jesus Christ knew His enemies would not triumph over Him. He had perfect trust in His heavenly Father even though He knew that great suffering and death lay ahead. Nevertheless, He didn't waiver on His way to the Cross: "Not my will but thine be done." And with His face set like flint, He pressed on to the Cross, calling out to His Father throughout and entrusting Himself into His hands. His perfect trust and obedience have set us free from the sins of worry and doubt and failure and everything else. We, too, can call upon Him with every confidence that He will ultimately deliver us from every evil in this life and for all eternity. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Dear name! The rock on which I build, My shield and hiding place; My never-failing treasury filled With boundless stores of grace. ("How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds" LSB 524, st.3)
-Rev. Joel Shaltanis is pastor of Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Plano, TX.
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