The Good Shepherd Faces the Wolves- CRC Sunday Sermon

February 16, 2020

Pastoral Reading
Psalm 18:1-19
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

Opening Hymn
Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me (Trinity #36)

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Are the Saints in Heaven Sinning When they Ask for Justice?

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. (Revelation 6:9-11)

We have heard all kinds of theological charlatanism when it comes to the application of what are called “imprecatory” prayers. An imprecation is a curse. Sometimes of course it can be a sinful thing. When someone uses foul language when we they are angry, we call it “cursing.” Uttering a “damnation” against someone unjustly is indeed a sin. And a serious one. Jesus said so —

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:22)

However, Scripture also shows us that there IS a proper and righteous prayer of cursing someone! This is called, once again, an imprecatory prayer. Here is an example:

Continue reading “Are the Saints in Heaven Sinning When they Ask for Justice?”