Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 28:8-15
And the men who have been mentioned by name rose and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them. They clothed them, gave them sandals, provided them with food and drink, and anointed them, and carrying all the feeble among them on donkeys, they brought them to their kinsfolk at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria. (2 Chronicles 28:15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Judah and Jerusalem had been defeated and taken captive. 200,000 of them were taken as slaves along with their possessions as spoils of war. They were being taken from their land, their city, and the temple in which their God dwelt. Their lives and their world were being turned upside down and God had allowed it all to happen. In fact, He didn’t just allow it, He was the one behind it, working through their captors to call them to repentance and faith. They had sinned against God and He was punishing them for their unfaithfulness.
It’s hard to argue with what God was doing. The people deserved it. They had turned their backs on God and disobeyed Him and His commandments. They deserved for God to forsake them, to turn His back on them. It’s what we deserve for our sin. We turn our backs on God when we sin against Him. We follow the devil and deserve to follow him into slavery to sin, all the way to death and hell, but we never get there.
Israel never got there, either. Certain men of Ephraim stepped in and intervened. God stepped in to rescue His people from slavery. He took those who were destined for slavery and returned them to Judah. He cared for them not just to set them free, but that they would be clothed, given sandals, food, drink, anointed, carried and delivered back to their land. What great mercy He shows to Israel!
What great mercy He shows to us who are destined for slavery, death and hell. By the blood of His Son, He intervenes, rescues us, and returns us to the Promised Land. He clothes us with Christ’s righteousness, with the shirt on our backs and the food in our bellies. He cares for us in body and soul now and to eternity with the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. God’s promise is to be with you always, even when your life seems like it’s being turned upside down, and especially when it is ending, that you would enter into His kingdom. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, forsake me not! Your gracious presence lend me; Lord, lead Your helpless child; Your Holy Spirit send me That I my course may run. O be my light, my lot, My staff, my rock, my shield- O God, forsake me not! (“O God, Forsake Me Not” LSB 731, st.1)
-Rev. Brett Simek is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hilbert, WI. He also serves as catechesis coordinator for Higher Things.
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.