Friday after the Twenty-Third Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Deuteronomy 32:28-52 (NKJV)
28 “For they are a nation void of counsel, nor is there any understanding in them. 29 Oh, that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end! 30 How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had surrendered them? 31 For their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. 32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah; Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. 33 Their wine is the poison of serpents, and the cruel venom of cobras.
34 “‘Is this not laid up in store with Me, sealed up among My treasures? 35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; Their foot shall slip in due time; For the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them.’ 36 For the LORD will judge His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone, and there is no one remaining, bond or free. 37 He will say: ‘Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? 38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise and help you, and be your refuge. 39 ‘Now see that I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand. 40 For I raise My hand to heaven, and say, “As I live forever, 41 if I whet My glittering sword, and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, and repay those who hate Me. 42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the heads of the leaders of the enemy.”‘ 43 Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, and render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people.”
44 So Moses came with Joshua the son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 and He said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law. 47 For it is not a futile thing for you, because it is your life, and by this word you shall prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to possess.”
48 Then the LORD spoke to Moses that very same day, saying: 49 “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho; view the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel as a possession; 50 die on the mountain which you ascend, and be gathered to your people, just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people; 51 because you trespassed against Me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Wilderness of Zin, because you did not hallow Me in the midst of the children of Israel. 52 Yet you shall see the land before you, though you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving to the children of Israel.”
The Lord kills, and He makes alive. Satan works tirelessly to deprive man of God’s Word so that people forget that fact. If man frequently had the Law in front of him he would have a hard time forgetting that our lives are damaged by wickedness. He would have to remember that sin leads to death, whether he likes it or not.
God is righteous. He has done all things well, so, if men die from their sins according to the Word of God’s Law, that cannot be counted as evil on God’s part. But if Satan can steal the Word from among us, teach men that evil should be embraced as good, and spread the delusion that death has no eternal ramifications, then people truly are in peril.
Christ brings the Word of life and death to the world through His faithful Church. He feeds, teaches, and reminds us so He can also feed, teach, and remind others in the world through us. He makes our lives and words proclaim the fact that He is a righteous judge Who has the right to kill, but that He is also a merciful Lord Who makes all who believe alive through the blood of Christ crucified.
God’s own Son was killed, and then made alive for the forgiveness of our sins. The Law of God cannot be forgotten or ignored, because man will face eternal death if it is. And the Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified cannot be forgotten or ignored, because if it is, man mocks the only means by which he can be made alive.
We pray: Lord God, by Your Spirit make us to always draw near to Your holy Word and confess our transgressions, so that our iniquity may be forgiven in Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.