Protection Along the Path

The world can be a scary place.  It may be the fear of something that we face or simply the fear of the unknown, but all of us experience fear from time to time.  We can respond to our fears in many different ways.  We can deny our fears, face our fears, give in to our fears, or overcome our fears–and that is just barely scratching the surface.  How we deal with fear, though, says something not only about who we are, but who we can become.

King Hezekiah faced Sennacherib’s Assyrian armies twice at Jerusalem.  The first time he attempted to buy peace.  It cost him all of the gold from the doors of the temple, but it worked–for a while.  Dealing with fear by using earthly resources bought Hezekiah some time, but that was all.  The armies came back again.  This time there was no more gold on the temple doors.  The king had no ransom to buy peace, and even if he did, how long could it last?  No, this time Hezekiah would have to deal with the Assyrians in another way.  His army was not up to the task, so that was not a viable option.  His city walls were not likely to fare any better than those of other cities that had already fallen, so a passive defense by hiding behind the walls wasn’t a good choice, either.  All he had left was prayer, and that was all he needed.  He prayed.  God answered.  The Assyrians were routed.  Jerusalem was saved.  Sennacherib never tried again.

Martin Luther understood the awesome strength of God, too.  He wrote A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, which is based on Psalm 46.  It is a testament to God’s might, and also to the will of God for His truth to triumph through us.

And though this world, with devils filled,
should threaten to undo us,
we will not fear, for God hath willed
his truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
we tremble not for him;
his rage we can endure,
for lo, his doom is sure;
one little word shall fell him.

God protected Hezekiah.  He protected Luther.  As we continue our journey, remember that He loves us and will protect us, too.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Protection, day 29 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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A Path for the Nations

God is present with us in every age.  We choose how we respond to Him.  Every age experiences political pressures, too.  We choose how we respond to them as well.  One will always influence the other.  Our priorities determine which one will dominate.

Over the centuries governments and nations have come and gone.  Political pressures are only temporary.  In contrast, God will prevail at the end of time.  God’s presence is our future.  Knowing this should help us set our priorities.

People and nations find guidance in every age from songs and literature that stand the test of time.  At the close of the fourth century Ambrose of Milan wrote the hymn Savior of the Nations, Come.  The original text was in Latin.  In the sixteenth century Martin Luther translated the hymn into German.  By the 19th century it had been translated into English and many other languages.  Every nation in every age has found comfort in its words.  Neither governments nor armies have been able to stop its message.  A message of hope.  A message of love.  A message of salvation.  What is its message to you?

Savior of the nations, come;
Virgin’s Son, here make Thy home!
Marvel now, O heaven and earth,
That the Lord chose such a birth.

Christ, the Prince of Peace, has come and shown us the path of hope and peace and joy and love.  It is the path for all times.  It is the path for all nations.  It is the path for us.

Follow the Path!

[Use with A Nation Divided, day 28 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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