Reflections: Thursday of the Seventh Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 18:10-30; Acts 27:27-44 

Saul was afraid of David because the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. (1 Samuel 18:12)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Speaking of tyrannical kings (recall the Reflection from the Seventh Sunday after Trinity) and evil plans and purposes of the devil (yesterday’s Reflection), we have in 1 Samuel 18:10–30 the incarnation of both. Saul had become a wicked king, and God had withdrawn His blessing from him. David, however, had already been chosen by God as Saul’s successor, and it was clear that God’s blessing rested upon him. Not only did God give David success in battle, He also led David to love and be respectful of his enemy. This seemed to enrage Saul even more. By trickery, deceit, and outright violence, Saul tried time and again to end David’s life. But God hindered the evil plans and purposes of Saul (which were of the devil) and protected and defended His chosen servant, David.

David foreshadows another chosen servant of the Lord: Jesus the Christ. He, too, was hated by jealous foes who tried and even succeeded in killing Him, “although he had done no violence and there was no deceit in his mouth” (Isaiah 53:9b). As was the case with Saul, so it was with Jesus’ enemies. The devil and his evil plans and purposes lay behind their jealous rage. But even though they succeeded in putting Him to death, God did not abandon His soul nor let His body see corruption (Psalm 16:10). Even death could not defeat Him.

And death cannot defeat you, either. The devil and all this world’s tyrants rage against Christ, against the Church, and against you. Even though, in Christ, you love your enemies and seek their good, so often your faithfulness and love enrage them even more. Their evil plan and purpose is for your destruction. But you are God’s chosen in Holy Baptism. You are His own beloved people. They can rage, plot, and try their best to bring about your destruction. But all their plans shall fail. For you are the ones redeemed by the blood of your Savior, Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Though devils all the world should fill, All eager to devour us, We tremble not, we fear no ill; They shall not overpow’r us. This world’s prince may still Scowl fierce as he will, He can harm us none. He’s judged; the deed is done; One little word can fell him. (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” LSB 656, st.3)

-Rev. Jeffrey Ware is pastor of All Saints Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.