The Old Testament reading for the 12th Sunday after Pentecost is Proverbs 25:2–10. Our devotional reading comes from A Year in the Old Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year.
Read the propers for the day in Lutheran Service Builder.
As a fly in the ointment are the evil ones who surround us. The irritation of their presence is as a speck in our eye that cannot be rubbed out. More than a nuisance, they are ever sniping and picking away at us. They chip away at the foundation of our resolve, and our line is frayed and near the breaking point. The evil and the wicked frustrate us with their presence and persecute us with their lies and deceit. We would bring this to an end and cast them away with violence—we would!
Isolation from the evil and wicked, insulation from the ungodly is to be sought, for they are a constant test of our faith and a trial for our families. “It would be best if these ungodly ones were removed from our midst! If we could be separated, the wheat from the chaff, the wheat from the weeds, then all would be for the better.” So we say, but is it true?
Thus says the LORD: “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you" (Proverbs 25:21–22). Do not seek the end of your enemies or the destruction of the wicked; seek rather to win them over by the kindness that comes from the LORD. Seek to turn them away from evil to do good. Seek to heap the burning coals of God’s Word upon their heads so that they might repent and join the throng around the throne. Thus says the LORD.
Such is the way in which our Savior also dealt with His enemies, with those who sought to destroy Him. Though a company of evildoers encompassed Him, though He was encircled by the wicked, He did not cry out against them. Though beaten, stricken, and afflicted, He did not raise His voice. Though the object of scorn and derision, He did not answer back. Though pierced in both hands and feet and raised up upon a tree, He refused to condemn and destroy. “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34), He said.
The evil and wicked sought to destroy the Holy One of God as they were goaded forward by the father of evil. “Crucify Him” (Mark 15:13) was their cry, and the sound of nails being driven rang out from the hill. Yet, He suffered and died for all humankind, for we all are in desperate need. The sin of the whole world was upon Him: the sin of our evil, our sin, for we, too, are evil. The burning coals heaped upon us turned our thoughts to confession and repentance, and He who died and rose again is quick to forgive and save. His death brings life; this Lamb brings salvation to the flock.
The evil and wicked ones live among us, and we have been called out from their midst. Now, the light shines and the salt flavors so that they, too, might be counted as the children of God.
Hymn of the Day
Hymn of the Day is “Son of God, Eternal Savior” from Hymn Descants, Set 1 by Benjamin M. Culli © 2019 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Devotional reading is adapted from A Year in the Old Testament: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year by Jeffrey Pulse, page 217–18 © 2012 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved. Scripture: ESV®.