January 2, 2022

A Question for the Ages

See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god beside me. I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand.

Deuteronomy 32:29
This verse from Deuteronomy is embraced by many. But just as many find it troubling. If God is the God of life and wholeness, then why think of God as a bringer of death or disease? Indeed, the extent of God's sovereignty is a theological question for the ages.

The same concept is dealt with in Romans 14:8 when Paul says, 
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If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.
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But this verse is much less discouraging. Because I believe in God as Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit, I can affirm the presence of God through all the stages of life—even to the very final moment with the arrival of death. In the death of Jesus on the cross, I know that God is with those who suffer and die. I need not debate the cause; I only need to place my trust in the One who never leaves me.
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
I am thine, O Lord, I have heard thy voice,
and it told thy love to me;
but I long to rise in the arms of faith
and be closer drawn to thee.

Draw me nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
to the cross where thou hast died.
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer blessèd Lord,
to thy precious, bleeding side.
 Fannie Crosby (1875)
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After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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Text selection ©2021 Evangelische Brüder-Unität. All scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version, unless otherwise noted.