Reflections: Friday of the 17th Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 2:16-37; Matthew 6:16-34

Do not be anxious about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:34)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. What do Deuteronomy and the Sermon on the Mount have to do with one another? On the surface, it looks like these are very different writings. Our reading from Deuteronomy promises that the Israelites will defeat their enemies, while Jesus preaches that we should not be anxious because the Lord cares for us more than anything in all creation. Throughout history there have been various heresies which have claimed that the Old and New Testaments even have a different god, because so many things in them seem so unrelated, and even opposed to one another. Could the warlike God of the Exodus be related at all to the peaceful Jesus?

It may be surprising, but these two readings are telling God’s people the same thing: Don’t worry, because the Lord is on your side. The Israelites are, yet again, face to face with enemies, and the Lord instructs them to have no fear because He goes before and after them. He fights for them. In the Matthew reading, Jesus speaks to people faced with different enemies, but enemies nonetheless.

We are anxious and worried about all sorts of things. Money. Food. Homework. Degrees. Moab. Sihon, the King of Hesbon. Well, maybe not those last two. But you get the picture. God’s people are always confronted with enemies. You will always be face to face with enemies of all sorts that seek to rob you of your peace. The Israelites were delivered from the hands of their enemies. They even triumphed over them!

You are given victory over your enemies as well. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have given you peace which passes all understanding. Death and sin will have no power over you. Be strong in the Lord. Do not fear what comes tomorrow, for the Lord is on your side.

You are Israel, taken out of slavery to sin and death, brought through the Red Sea of Holy Baptism, and fed in the wilderness with the Word of God, and even with His miraculous meal, the Lord’s Supper. He fights for you, so you may live in peace. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Faint not nor fear, His arms are near; He changes not who hold you dear; only believe, and you will see that Christ is all eternally. (“Fight the Good Fight” LSB 664, st.4)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch