To you, O Lord, I call;
my rock, be not deaf to me,
lest, if you be silent to me,
I become like those who go down to the pit.
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to you for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward your most holy sanctuary.
Do not drag me off with the wicked,
with the workers of evil,
who speak peace with their neighbors
while evil is in their hearts.
Give to them according to their work
and according to the evil of their deeds;
give to them according to the work of their hands;
render them their due reward.
Because they do not regard the works of the Lord
or the work of his hands,
he will tear them down and build them up no more.
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults,
and with my song I give thanks to him.
The Lord is the strength of his people;
he is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28 ESV
Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Philippians 3:17-21 ESV
At the time of World War II, there were huge amounts of refugees and displaced people around the world. Refugees are people who run away from terrible danger in the country they have been living in. They hope to find safety and a better life somewhere else. Displaced people are those that the government of a country pushes to leave or removes by force. For example, when Germany invaded Poland, more than a million Polish people were expelled from their country by the Germans. On the other hand after the war was over, millions of Germans ran away from Eastern Europe to try to find safety. These are only a couple of examples, and there were many, many others from that time in history. When there is a war, people who have been living peacefully in a country are sometimes not safe because the nation or group of people they belong to has become the enemy of the government of the country they live in.
It’s sometimes hard to understand why some of the psalms ask God to punish wicked and evil people. We know that God loves all people and wants to give them his gift of forgiveness. But there are always people who don’t want God’s love and forgiveness. They want to keep on being God’s enemies. Because they are at war with God, they sometimes can’t live in peace with people who belong to God. Being God’s enemies makes them enemies of God’s people, and they try to hurt God by hurting his people. At these times we cry out to God for help and protection. We hope that God will soon bring to an end our time of suffering by stopping evil people from hurting us.
We can take comfort at these times by remembering that in Jesus, God has already won the war against sin and evil. Jesus defeated death and the devil when he died on the cross and rose again. Because of that, we are in his care, and no one can take us away from Jesus. We live in danger and difficulty at times because of our faith, but we know that God will always care for his people and bring us safely to a better life in the new kingdom of peace that will last forever.
Dear Jesus, thank you for your victory over sin and evil. Please keep us safe until the time that you bring us safely home. Amen.