Devotionals Tragedy!


Over the past few years we have seen drastic changes in the “Firm” in Britain—the “Firm” meaning the royal family with all its protocol, secrecy and inter-family conflicts. The top of the iceberg for us today is not Charles and Dianna’s divorce or her death … and not even the delinquent son of the late queen, Andrew … but Harry marrying and then together with his wife Megan, leaving the “Firm” for a variety of reasons.

Although there are two sides to every story, somewhere along the lines, spoken, written or gestured, there must be some truth on both sides and perhaps the opposite on both sides as well. I read a short article today where Harry says … “I want my father and brother back.” It is natural than a blood son and brother, once estranged, wants to be re-united. Nothing runs thicker than blood!

I wonder how often God said that in different ways throughout the Old Testament … wanting Israel back from her wayward, rebellious, idolatrous lifestyle? As you read through the Old Testament you soon see all the terms of endearment God uses when referring to His relationship with Israel. Now, not only does Simeon refer to “all nations” benefitting from God’s Salvation as he held Mary’s baby in his arms in the temple courts, he includes Israel:

Lk 2:32 “and for glory to your people Israel.”

1) God prepared this salvation for the glory of Israel, His people. God is faithful. Throughout the entire Bible we find references to God being faithful. To the unfaithful Church pastor at Laodicea, Jesus says of Himself:

Rev 3:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.”

God is both faithful and true. What He says He does and what He says He is. Take as an example Moses saying:

Dt 7:7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

God’s love makes Him the Great Faithful Oath Keeper to those who love, honor, serve and obey Him … yet the same Great Faithful Oath Keeping includes punishment to those who hate Him. He made a promise to Abraham:

Ge 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

Although this promise was developed and matured over many years … the basic ingredient remained the same. God is faithful, a theme Simeon picks up when saying:

Lk 2:32 “and for glory to your people Israel.”

God chose Israel to be His people through which to reach the nations of the world. As they failed, God remained faithful because of His promise to Abraham. Luke wants us to see that the people of Israel are not out of God’s salvific plan. This needs to be read together with the way the apostle Paul yokes “believers from all nations” together with “believers from Israel”.

Gal 3:6 Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Abraham is seen as the father of Israel and if all believers (Jews and Gentiles) are children of Abraham, then all believers are the Israel of God. Although Simeon’s words … “glory to your people Israel” needs to be seen as firstly for the nation, it needs to be seen as the People of Abraham who believe.

2) Jesus’ human parents marveled at Simeon’s words.

Lk 2:33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

Let’s re-read Simeon’s words again:

Lk 2:29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”

All of this is said about Jesus! Never forget or underestimate the Salvation of God. God prepared this in advance and fulfilled it in Simeon’s day. Today we who believe are the beneficiaries of God’s Salvation! Do you marvel at God’s Gospel that saves the hardest heart and the wickedest sinner? Yesterday we had some Church people over for a braai. The gentleman, now a deacon in the Church told me how sinful he was before being saved some 5 or 6 years ago. He marveled at the goodness of God who reached into his decrepit life which was wallowing in the spiritual mud. I was there too … were you? Naturally you were and that is the reason that if you are saved you need to marvel in the goodness of God … the salvation of your soul. We are three days into 2023, what will your response to your salvation be through this year? Unlike Harry and Megan, you can’t leave the “Firm” … you can’t leave the Kingdom of Jesus. Your Father is always your Father and your brothers and sisters are always your brother and sisters. You don’t need them back because they are always here. Just think of the supreme greatness of the Kingdom you belong to! Think of the greatest salvific plan … the one God instituted … the one that takes you out of the “devil’s firm” and places you into “Jesus’ firm”. We as His People are called to:

Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

As we have spent the past two weeks reflecting upon God’s Salvation, has it stimulated you to rejoice in the goodness of God to you personally?

Our Father, forgive me from being so morbid, lacking the desire to express my love and thanksgiving to You the way You desire. Help me to change this year. May my focus be like Simeon’s … one that is centered on Your Messiah, the Lord Jesus in whose name I pray. Amen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *