Wednesday of Pentecost 9 – Psalm 125

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
    which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people,
    from this time forth and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest
    on the land allotted to the righteous,
lest the righteous stretch out
    their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
    and to those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside to their crooked ways
    the Lord will lead away with evildoers!
    Peace be upon Israel!

The Gestapo officer glowered at the man who sat in the chair across from him. The object of that animus was Eivind Berggrav, the Bishop of Norway who was determined not to cooperate with the occupying Nazis.

“Don’t you know that I have the power to have you killed!?” hissed the officer.

“And what will you do to me then?” replied the Bishop calmly.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion which cannot be moved. The Nazi’s applied pressure to Berggrav and he was not moved, not for the long years of the Nazi occupation of Germany. Even from prison he communicated with the resistance. Berggrav trusted the promise of God. Christ has risen and that changes everything. Despite appearances, peace is upon Israel. Evil will not win the day.

 In these days of pandemic and unrest, economic uncertainty and political turmoil, there will be pressure to do the expedient but wrong thing. It will not be a gestapo officer applying the pressure, but it will take some other form. The psalmist notes that the scepter of wickedness shall rest upon the righteous lest they “stretch out their hands to do wrong.” He knows this is possible for us too. It was possible in 1941 and it is in twenty-first century. So be not moved from the principles of what God tells you in those Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, or the exhortations of Paul in his Epistles. God’s kingdom will operate in ways other than the expediencies of the world. It starts with the rock-solid truth of Mount Zion where Jesus died for your sins and rose again for your justification. No one can take that away from you. Established in that, do the good, love the neighbor, give glory to God.

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