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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: December 18, 2023

In war, victory is far more political than personal. At least if you fight a war that rages on your own soil, there’s not much difference between those who win and those who lose. Both of you walk home with a body and mind  that’s been shattered to a land that’s been torched, a family that’s been torn apart, and a world that’s been turned upside down. Winner and loser alike go home to a parched land infested with jackals and hyenas, a scorched-over desert of sorrow.

Israel and Judah lost the wars against Assyria and Babylon respectively. They lost those wars because the judgment of God burned against them. But then God turned His judgment against the enemies of His people. Assyria was destroyed, Babylon destroyed, then Persia, then Greece were torn down. What was the result for God’s people when the result was different? Not very different at all. Their land was still turned into a desert, as were the nations around them, a dried out valley of death filled with wild animals and sorrow.

So it is for us in our war against each other. We have elections and one side wins, the other side loses, and we both end up more embittered and sin-soaked than we were before. We fight cultural battles, we win some, we lose others, but whether we win or lose, we always lose because we leave the war filled with hatred of our neighbor rather than love. So here we are in the haunt of jackals, the dried up valley of death. But the flood of righteousness, the flood of Jesus’ blood is coming.

Because out of His love for you, God the Father sent His Son into the flesh. Your Lord was born into this desert of pain, born to water it to life with His righteousness. And that’s precisely what Jesus did. The same Messiah who opened the eyes of the blind and opened the ears of the deaf allowed His veins to be opened for you at Calvary. He poured out the flood of His blood that poured the waters of salvation into this earth, drove away the jackals and transformed our sorrow into joy. That’s what Jesus did. It’s what He will do in its fullness on the day of His return. So don’t lose hope. Don’t despair and believe there’s no difference between winning and losing. You have won. Eternally. Your Lord is coming and you will see the flood of His bloody victory very soon. 

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