TITLE: A Really, Really Wicked New Year
DATE: December 29, 2018
TEXT: . Galatians 4:4-5 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
When I go on the internet, my computer opens three web pages which bring together the news feeds from over 200 organizations. There are organizations which specialize in Christian news, in unchristian news and in general regions movements. There are those who emphasize secular news, scientific news and made-up news. There are feeds which are political, apolitical and popular. There are those which emphasize agriculture, urban living, international trade as well as global monetary and environmental disasters.
Which is just my way of letting you know I try to keep things open so every day some idea will jump out for use in a devotion. This week I ran across one such idea, a quote. This is what it said:
“We have fallen on evil times, and the world has grown very wicked. Governments are corrupt, and even children are no longer respectful to their parents.”
At first I thought those lines were taken from some fellow who had just tossed his hat into the political arena. Of course it was possible they came from the pen of a cynic, or some critic who is discontent with our modern age.. My wife thought they had been taken from a pastor’s Sunday sermon. (I hadn’t considered that possibility.)
Well, the truth is those sentences come from none of those sources. They are translated from a clay tablet which is on display in a Turkish museum. As near as anyone can guess, the tablet dates from around 3,000 BC, which makes the writer’s opinion to be about 5,000 years old.
And the words… what do they prove? They prove many things simply do not change.
In these closing days of 2018, there are all kinds of predictions being made about the dire state of the Union and the deplorable condition of the World. Some will try to put a positive spin on the future, while others will only be able to see gloom and doom.
As the unknown author of the tablet shows us, there will be more than enough evil to go around. The turning of the calendar’ pages will offer plenteous room for sin to succeed; for Satan and sadness to accomplish their purposes. The only things we don’t know for sure are the particulars… you know, the “how, when, who and why.”
As the writer of Ecclesiastes echoes: “There is nothing new under the sun.” Which is why, in this upcoming New Year we can be sure there will be tragedy and terror; temptation, tribulation and heartbreak.
And we can also be sure the Triune God will still be in control. The Holy Spirit will still be sharing the story of salvation that has come through the Savior. Because of His atoning work that began in a Judean stable, and continues as He intercedes for us before God’s throne of justice, we have a peace the world cannot know.
The coming of the New Year will assure us that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, not even the coming of a new year shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, this coming year, evil will walk about this world, stalking the unsuspecting and unsaved. Thankfully we have the Savior Who has given His life to win salvation and eternal life for all who acknowledge the Savior as His own. May our days be placed into His hands. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html