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September 23 – Terrors no longer terrify Christians

There the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you off. It will devour you like locusts. – Nahum 3:15

Scripture reading: Luke 10:13-20

In quick succession, terrifying images related to the siege of a city are pronounced as judgment against the Assyrian cities. Yesterday, we noted that when a city expected invaders, water would be hauled into the city and stored for the people to drink. When the enemy used burning arrows against the people shut up behind strong walls, the fires would require quantities of water to quench. Fire was a terrible threat against a city.

If there was not enough water to halt the fire’s spread or if the fire took hold before the citizens of the beleaguered city could put it out, then the citizens would have to either die in the city or open its gates and rush out. As they were fleeing they’d be hacked down by the soldiers of the invading hordes. As easily as locusts eat up every blade of grass and every green thing when they swarm, so easily would an invading army destroy the citizenry of the captured city.

Some Christians object to the warlike language of Scripture. Our reading in Luke shows that Jesus used such expressions and war terms as well. When the days draw near to Jesus’ return in power and glory, the distress upon the earth will be great. As Christians, we do not need to be afraid. We are confident that our salvation is nearer than ever. Despite the tumult of the world or the rumours of war and upheavals, we need to worship the LORD of Glory Who is drawing near to deliver His people.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that many will take refuge in Christ our King and among His people; thanks be to God that there will be an end to violence and wickedness.

Rev. Richard T. Vander Vaart serves as a visiting prison chaplain in Moncton, New Brunswick for Redemption Prison Ministry. A few years ago he and his wife Carolyn became members of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. They both enjoy hosting friends for dinner and games nights. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

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