Deliver us from evil…

Its another week, and again we are reeling from the shock of yet another violent attack.  From the shooting in our own hometown of Lennox, SD a month ago, to the horror of Las Vegas and terror in New York City; now we add Sutherland Springs, TX to our growing list of tragedies that have touched every corner of our nation.

As I rose from my time in prayer for our nation today, a book on the shelf caught my eye: “Deliver Us From Evil” by Ravi Zacharias.  I paged through the book, and came upon the following that I wanted to share today:

Tragedies and atrocities are common fare, and in any corner coffee shop discussion can be heard of the latest horror or carnage to strike at our communities. Evil has taken on forms and concoctions that shock the world. Any catalog at the end of any given year tells a painful story of what is happening in our streets and homes and institutions…

As the barbarians scaled the walls of his beloved city, Augustine wept and penned The City of God.  No, Rome was not the eternal city. As Athens sowed the seeds of its own destruction, Socrates chose to drink the hemlock rather than give up his pursuit of the virtuous.  In England Wordsworth wept for the return of Milton to address the loss of England’s heroic character. Jesus wept at the sight of HIs beloved city and said, “If you… had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42).

Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem have all lost their ancient glory. Today our alabaster cities have become tarnished, and with eyes dimmed by tears we cry, “Deliver us from evil.” But that deliverance can come only if we respond to the Creator’s loving invitation:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28–29)

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.” (Isaiah 55:1–3)

If we can say, with King David, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God,” our deliverance is at hand.

How marvelous is the grace of God who has proven again and again that His Word brings light to a dark place, and who can take the wrath of men to bring praise to His name.

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