Posted by justifiedandsinner
9 The Israelites cried out to the LORD. So the LORD raised up... Judges 3:9 CSB
Then the Israelites cried oute to the LORD.. Judges 4:3 CSB
6 So Israel became poverty-stricken because of Midian, and the Israelites cried out to the LORD. Judges 6:6 CSB
Barth says, poignantly, that the situation “went right into [Jesus’] heart … so that their whole plight was now His own, and as such He saw and suffered it far more keenly than they did.” Jesus “took their misery upon Himself, taking it away from them and making it His own.”
Whom shall I fear, if Thou, O God omnipotent, art my light and my salvation? I give myself all to Thee. Accept me, and then do with me what Thou wilt; chastise me, show Thine indignation towards me when Thou wilt; kill me, destroy me, and I will say always, with Job: Although He should kill me, I will trust in Him.3 Whilst I am Thine, and Thou lovest me, I am content to be treated by Thee with every hardship; to be even annihilated, if it so pleases Thee.
Romans 12:1-3 is pretty clear about our reaction to the grace and work of Jesus Christ. Without restraint, we are to give our bodies to Jesus, a living sacrifice.
One of the aspects of that offering we see in the readings above. Are we willing to give God our lives in a way that allows Him to work in our lives? Does that mean we accept His discipline, discipline to the point of our need to call out for help, in the midst of despair. Israel, who needed that correction, and they experienced God’s faitfulness. For he didn’t allow them to go any further away…but used the consequences to bring them back.
Are we willing to do that?
de Ligouri’s prayer is to that very point. Setting aside fear and anxiety because we know God’s presence is here… we can accept that discpline? Can we accept God allowing us to suffer, that we might realie our need for Him to remove our sin from our lives?
That is why we need to hear Barth’s input. We need to see Jesus taking on our suffering, living in our misery. He made our sin His own, and welcomed a discipline that we deserved….
Why do we still need to cry out? As we do today?
I would assume no one would deny we need what Bard descrived with these words, “Through Jesus, God confronts the situation in Nain when the “alien will and unknown power invaded the general course of things” and actualized an aspect of the realm of God in the very presence of the people.”
We need to cry out because we forget God is there, we forget Jesus took on the consequences of our sin, and we forget to confess our sins, sure of our forgiveness.
And He is here… always here.. always raising up those who cry out, always preparing those who are there to minister to us…
This is our God, who willinging takes on our brokenness… that we would be made whole… for we are His.
Ronald J. Allen, Thinking Theologically: The Preacher as Theologian (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2008), 52.
Alphonsus de Liguori, The Holy Eucharist, ed. Eugene Grimm, The Complete Works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori (New York; London; Dublin; Cincinnati; St. Louis: Benziger Brothers; R. Washbourne; M. H. Gill & Son, 1887), 100.
Posted by justifiedandsinner
Devotional Thought of the Day:
When I bring you home from the places where you are now scattered, I will be pleased with you, just as I am pleased with the smell of the smoke from your sacrifices. Every nation on earth will see that I am holy, 42 and you will know that I, the LORD, am the one who brought you back to Israel, the land I promised your ancestors. 43 Then you will remember your wicked sins, and you will hate yourselves for doing such horrible things. They have made you unacceptable to me, 44 so you deserve to be punished. But I will treat you in a way that will bring honor to my name, and you will know that I am the LORD God. Ezekiel 20:41-44 CEV
My friends, the blood of Jesus gives us courage to enter the most holy place 20 by a new way that leads to life! And this way takes us through the curtain that is Christ himself. Hebrews 10:19-20
I thought that continence (sexual self-control) arose from one’s own powers, which I did not recognize in myself. I was foolish enough not to know … that no one can be continent unless you grant it. For you would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on you. (quoted from Augustine’s Confessions)
The prophets are not progressives advocating a new order. Like the Church—which formulates creeds only to distinguish old orthodoxy from new heresies—the prophets hold God’s Word against the stream of the spirit of the times, against the world, the reigning era, the new human fashion.
I, on occasion, get to help people in their struggle with sin. I believe, as we realize that we are in the midst of God reviving people, it will be come more frequent. Enough so that it didn’t surprise me when these readings all came up today in my devotional time.
We all struggle with sin, whether we dwell in guilt and shame, beating ourselves up as if we can beat it out of ourselves, or whether we deny the power of temptation and its ability to cause us to submit.
As well, Satan, that foe of ours, would love for us to believe this is our battle. That we have to overcome temptation by our own strength, or we will never qualify to be God’s “good” people. That is a lie, straight from the Hell that has been prepared for the Devil and His angels.
Look at Augustine’s revelation to himself, he cannot, on his own control his desires, and he reminds himself of the grace and love of God that he should cry out to in those times.
Kreeft reminds us of the prophetic message God has sent, to help us deal with sin, to call us back into the covenant where God promises forgiveness, mercy and comfort to those broken.
Even more authoritative, because it is God’s holy word, are the verses from Hebrews, we enter God’s presence, the place of mercy, the place of His defending us, our safe sanctuary and fortress, by the blood of Christ. We have to depend on that, in time of temptation, in time of struggle, and in times where we fail…
And that is where Ezekiel comes in… go back and re-read it, slowly and carefully. God brings us back and we deserve to be punished. We realize that, even as many of us do now. Read the promise again….
But I will treat you in a way that will bring honor to my name, and you will know that I am the LORD God.
This doesn’t give us the permission to sin more.. but it tells us of His love for us, and His promise of grace.
So cry out, even as Augustine suggested we should. Cry out for help when temptation draws close, when the world is assisting temptaiton by making it seem ok. Cry out to God… He will be there… and will help redeem and restore you… and He will overcome it…
Cry out to Him….
Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997), 604.
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 126.