FDR for Sunday 30/03/2014.
Our reading today is brief enough to include here. Not just so we’ll read it but to better understand it as it asks questions, answers them in some despair and prays.
Briefly the writer charges the world with being foolish, provides the proof and expands on how this is exacted by evildoers, although the Lord is present and provides a refuge. In the concluding verse the writer turns to the Lord in joyful prayer acknowledging the salvation to come out of Zion for God’s chosen people.
(New International Version – UK (NIVUK))
1 The fool says in his heart,
‘There is no God.’
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
5 But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
Both these next two writers in Rom 3:9-20 and 1 John 5:19 use Psalm 14 to point out we are all under sin. The Romans writer draws on other passages too. (Here’s the link to Romans 3:9-20)
So whats different now?
Sometimes I need the refreshment of the Road to Emmas passage to remind me how to go about understanding where I really stand now I have Jesus in my life. Here is an account of how God’s mission to the world has been foretold for eons and has now occurred summarised for these two travellers. A short time after this traveling discussion, the resurrected Lord Jesus comes into the same place as his disciples, in his crucified body.
As we peer at what our church, the broad church of Jesus, has done to some of the children in its charge and the horrors perpetrated by those who we trusted, there is clear proof of the evil one working amongst us.
And so can I encourage you to turn back to yesterday’s blog and read Glenn’s summary of these Road to Emmas events and see them through the simplicity and directness of Psalm 14.
When you reach the end to pray, perhaps again, the prayer written at the bottom of Glenn’s blog.
And finally to take to heart from these words of direction in Jude 1:17-23 and lastly the encouragement an promise in Jude 1:24-25 that follow:
A call to persevere
17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.