Reflections: Friday of the 12th Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: 2 Kings 6:1-23; Philippians 1:21-2:11 

Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:17) 

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In Isaiah 6, the prophet is given a vision of heaven’s throne room. The six-winged seraphim shouted out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). In the great Sanctus of Divine Service Setting Three, we leave “host” untranslated as “Sabaoth.” They mean the same thing: a heavenly army. The Lord God of heaven’s army, whom Isaiah saw, was again seen by Elisha and his servant. Heaven’s army was on full display, even if at first Elisha’s servant did not see it. This army of horses and chariot all ablaze was there to save God’s people from destruction and deliver them from their enemies. 

That same Lord God of Sabaoth came to do battle for you. This time it was not hidden, but on full public display. Yet as visible as it was, most do not see it. It looks like a huge loss. Instead of being cloaked in fire with a vast army sounding Him, this time the Lord God is alone, hanging on a cross, dying. Not very victorious to the human eye. 

When the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of faith, then you see a very different picture. Though your enemies of sin, death, and the devil try to surround you, you have Christ Jesus, the Son of the Lord God, and all of heaven’s armies. He has saved you from destruction and delivered you from your enemies. His death is your salvation and by His resurrection He has won the victory. Satan and his demonic horde have been defeated and are going down kicking and screaming like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum. Your sin is forgiven. Death is no longer a threat. 

Now, in the presence of these defeated enemies, the Lord prepares a great feast of victory, His Body and Blood in the Holy Sacrament, as we join with the seraphim and angels and archangels and all the company of heaven to sing “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of heaven’s army!” On the day that Christ welcomes you home to the eternal feast, your enemies will never come to raid you again, for Christ is your victory now and forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. 

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle; Sing the ending of the fray. Now above the cross, the trophy, Sound the loud triumphant lay; Tell how Christ, the world’s redeemer, As a victim won the day. (“Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle” LSB 454, st.1)

-Rev. Daniel Voth, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.