Relative Peace

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
    flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
    though I looked for him, he could not be found. Psalm 37:35-36

We shake our heads as the sudden rise of powerful and wicked people. Choose any government in the world that has seized power via a militant coup d’tat. The leadership there is very short-lived, for “those who live by the sword die by the sword.” The people under them must endure tyranny and ruthless behavior, and unfortunately the people who replace them may not be kinder on the people.

I don’t think we fully comprehend how we in the West have been able to enjoy relative peace and prosperity. We don’t know brutal dictators except what we see in pictures. The photos of their brutality is often on display for all to see if we choose. We have relatively peaceful elections. No violence. No major hostilities among participants.

Thank God today for that peace we enjoy. It certainly didn’t come to us without God offering his stamp of approval on it.

Continue Reading Relative Peace

Cries in the Night

34 Hope in the Lord
    and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
    when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it. Psalm 37:34

I ended yesterday’s devotional with a plea for mercy from God and a prayer for the 550 Coptic Christian girls in Egypt who have been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam and marry since 2011. It still makes me ill when I think about it. Do they have no voice in the West? Does no one hear their cries in the night? Yes, they are, for the most part, faceless and nameless, but they are part of the Faith.

We don’t know they and they don’t know us. We have no idea what they have been through and what they are going through even as I write this.

Sadly, Egypt is not the only Muslim nation to do this, just the one that was reported on.

We feel helpless for these girls, but certainly not powerless. There is hope in a just and loving God. Would you pray for these girls. You don’t know them and neither do I. Perhaps we never will.

Pray for them as you would pray for your own teen age daughter. You’ll know how to pray.

Continue Reading Cries in the Night

Keeping Watch

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
    intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
    or let them be condemned when brought to trial. Psalm 37:32-33

As I’ve stated numerous times, there are wicked people in the world who would love to destroy Christianity. I just read a statistic that since 2011, 550 Coptic Christian girls in Egypt have been kidnapped, forced to convert to Islam, and married off. These evil people hope to break the will of Christians worldwide by taking children and abusing them, and then forcing them to convert.

I wish it weren’t so.

I wish I weren’t weeping over the lives of these girls, most of whom have no idea why they would be the target of such hostilities.

I wish we lived in a fair world where media outlets reported such atrocities with regularity and didn’t downplay Islam’s role in the perpetrators’ decisions to do these things.

But we live in a real world with real evil and wickedness, and real pain and real sorrow and real anger.

But we commit them to God, fully realizing that there will be other victims in other continents in the days ahead. We feel powerless 5000 miles away and ask God what we can do to help.

The justice kidnappers will receive, when it comes, will be swift and fierce. We know that, but still, is there something else we should be doing to prevent it from happening again and again and again?

Continue Reading Keeping Watch

Wisdom in Many Forms

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
    and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
    their feet do not slip. Psalm 37:30-31

How long has it been since you just sat and talked to a really wise person? We all get glimpses of wisdom from time to time. I find that it’s the moments I don’t think at all about what I’m saying that wisdom comes out. And most of the time, the reminder of what I said comes back years after I’ve forgotten it. Someone has to actually remind me of it, and even then the recollection is vague. It didn’t seem important to me at the time. That’s not the wisdom I’m talking about.

No, there’s a certain kind of person we come across that just emits wisdom. Everything about their life speaks wisdom. You feel it when you don’t hear or see it anymore. You long to replace that person with someone equal amounts of wisdom. Why? Because deep down we really do want to be wise. We really do want to know truth and justice.

Wisdom does come in many forms, though, and while we long for the person who walks/talks/breathes wisdom, we are content to take in any form we can.

And sometimes we might just be able to deliver it too.

Continue Reading Wisdom in Many Forms

Inheriting the Land

29 The righteous will inherit the land
    and dwell in it forever. Psalm 37:29

If you look at this verse and wonder, “What land will we inherit?” It’s the only land that will last forever. The book of Revelations sums it up best: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem...” Revelation 21:1-2

We get glimpses of what that will be like, but I’m afraid we don’t have a clue as to how wonderful it will actually be day in and day out. Every day. All day. 24/7/365.

Oddly enough, compared to the Lord Himself, I don’t think the new heaven and new earth will be all that spectacular. Would you agree?

Continue Reading Inheriting the Land