Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after Oculi Sunday

Posted on March 13, 2023 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 2 Samuel 22:1-7 (NKJV)
22:1 Then David spoke to the Lord the words of this song, on the day when the Lord had delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. 2 And he said:
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence.
4 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
5 “When the waves of death surrounded me, the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
6 The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me.
7 In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry entered His ears.
The powerful witness of the earliest martyrs was a major factor in the spread of Christianity. The early Christians expected persecution and embraced it. If they could avoid it without sin, they would, but they would not dishonor Christ with selfish cowardice. When they had to suffer such things, they embraced persecution and martyrdom as a blessing. They felt honored to suffer like their Lord.
David here speaks of God “my deliverer.” He had been delivered from his enemies, but Christians praise and thank God regardless of the outcome. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from tyrants, but if He chooses not to in His wisdom, He will deliver us by bringing us to heaven. The blood of the martyrs is seeds of the Church.
It was the early Christians’ confidence and their commitment to our Lord that impressed the pagans. When ungodliness and death surrounded the saints they “called upon the Lord.” They did not worship the fickle gods of the pagans. Those gods were feared, but not loved. Our God is intimate and dependable. He is a never-failing defender. We may be called upon in our day to suffer for Christ. And in that hour of trial we can confidently call upon our Mighty Fortress and Deliverer.
Prayer: We beseech Thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of Thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty to be our defense against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Season of Lent
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who hatest nothing that Thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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