God Speaks
Friday of Pentecost 20
12 October 2018
The church has always faced trouble and trial by faith. You cannot divine the will of God by means of our experience. Our experience would lead us to doubt God's mercy. Just look at all the trouble in the world. See the suffering! Look at the threat that powerful storms like Hurricane Michael pose! Even if we ourselves were spared, we agonize for our friends and fellow believers. However, these things are not indicative of God's will toward us.
His Word is not in the storm, but is rather the still small voice (1Ki 19:13). We need to listen quietly to the Word of God to know God's will toward us. We must pull the cloak over our face and eyes so that we are not consumed by fear. We need to be like a skittish horse that has to have his eyes covered before being led onto a horse trailer, listening to the soothing voice of the trainer and following his voice. So we too wrap our face in the cloak of the Word that not seeing we might see the voice of God. Both life and death are in the hands of God. In the midst of both He still speaks. Just believe that speaking, for in that Word there is life and salvation.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"It is very necessary to observe God's words carefully when He is speaking, and then the faith of the believers. Then you will see true miracles in the stories of the saints, who by faith in the Word overcame all evils of the world and the devils. This victory they obtained not by means of their own wisdom, which was consumed, according to the well-known statement in Ps 107:27, but because the Word came to comfort them, and by means of faith by which they clung to the Word, for 'our faith is the victory which overcomes the world' (1Jn 5:4). God causes us to triumph and conquer through His Word, by which He raises us up and confirms us. This, therefore, is a glorious consolation which God shows to Jacob (Gn 35). For it is just as if He were saying: 'I have death and life and all times in My hand. Only believe, and you will be saved!'"

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, 35.1
Genesis 35:9-15

God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name." So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, "I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you." Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. (ESV)
Dear Father, give us our daily bread, good seasons, and health. Protect us from war, disease, and natural disaster. If You tempt me a bit by withholding Your blessings for a while, then Your will be done. If my time is up and my hour has come, deliver me from all evil. If not, give me strength and patience; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
For Linda Coyle, who lost her daughter, that she would be strengthened in the midst of her loss and not doubt the mercy of Christ
For all those suffering the damage and dislocation caused by the landfall of Hurricane Michael, that they would be kept safe by our gracious heavenly Father
For Carrie Braun and Kristen Witte and all women with children, that the Lord Jesus would be with them in their time of joy, keeping mothers and children safe
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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