The Lord has the last laugh.
The following devotion is an excerpt from a sermon preached at GraceLutheranChurch in a series following the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Over the next few weeks devotions will feature various sermons in remembrance of these attacks as well as the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The focus will be on God’s mysterious care in the midst of discomforting circumstances, unwelcome fear, and a struggle for world peace.
You can link to http://www.gracedowntown.org/pages/srmDetail.asp?id=227 and read this sermon in its entirety.
“The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.” That people plot such evil, violence and sabotage is one thing. This doesn’t really surprise us anymore. But that they can, with a loving and powerful God policing the universe, actually get away with it is appalling both to our innocence and also to our faith! This is not only our frustration, but also David’s, “I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing,” David laments.
More than this, the Bible in plain black and white print tells us to expect that the wicked will “succeed in their ways” and “carry out their schemes.” What? Where is God? Why does he wait like he’s standing coolly by the side with his arms crossed and shaking his head, “Aw, that’s too bad.” Psalm 37 provides the answer.
The Lord is not a pacifist. He didn’t create the world, wind it up like a watch, and recline to his heavenly sofa to distantly view all global activity on CNN. He doesn’t flee to the mountains and hide in a cave avoiding all conflict. Jesus once said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too am working” (John 5:17). Waiting, as far as God is concerned, means work. Active involvement not passive disinterest. And when it comes to a just response to wickedness, the Lord leaves nothing unclear about his active involvement.
“The Lord laughs at the wicked, he knows their day is coming.” The Lord is not unaware of secretive plots to do evil. “He knows.” He has the last laugh. He always has the last laugh at wicked mockers and scoffers who think they’re getting away with something behind his back. Their actions, even their thoughts, are always monitored and recorded by the unseen camera of divine watchfulness.
He knows. We wait.
PRAYER: Have mercy on us, Lord, as we lay aside our vengeance and trust in yours. Give us wisdom to react lovingly yet firmly to any kind of evil that threatens us or others, and engage in extreme measures only when called upon to do so. Meanwhile, help us wait for your ways to unfold and wisdom to work. Amen.