LÖHE ON 1. THESSALONIANS 4:6

JudgingThe Lord will punish men for all such sins. (1Th 4:6 NIV) 

This strong admonition is not only in regard to fraud and corruption, but also concerns sins of infidelity and contravening God pleasing chastity. The Lord is a judge and persecutor, who punishes both. His punishment on those living in sexual immorality sometimes becomes transparent in their time and their damned lot becomes similarly apparent in this age already. The Lord punishes fraud and corruption too. It doesn’t say, that he might punish, but rather he will do so. His eyes are open, his memory unfailing, his revenge has its certain time, his feet always reach their destination, his fist finds the unmerciful mercilessly in the end. Just as a lion grabs his prey and doesn’t let go, so the almighty will eventually get those, who don’t fear him, but practice their cruel power relentlessly against the powerless as if they are gods themselves.

For most, who are guilty of such sins, this sounds like mere threats and empty words for the ears of such fraudulent and corrupt sinners are mostly deaf to godly warnings too. Those, who idolize mammon simultaneously forget about the living God. They don’t fear a coming judgment. They hold it to be an hallucination of retarded spirituals at best. They don’t recon with a judging God, who takes an active interest in stopping crime, evil or just plain sinfulness – never mind taking his revenge finally on those, who have died already, yet still deserve punishment and serious retribution of sorts staying under the illusion, that they would get away with murder.

Most holy God! You will one day make us responsible for our sins of omission and commission, so we will have to answer for our being, doing and failing.  Let us never forget your watchful eyes, that are alert day and night, watching us in whatever we do and wherever we are. Lord strengthen us to withstand evil and that bad examples don’t gain influence over us or in our lives. We are yours, let us live as your own and direct our ways heavenward. Amen. (Churchbook of Württemberg)

Blessed are those, that strive after righteousness, justice and faithfulness so that their doings and life may be innocent and just; loving equity and righteousness, are themselves plainly upright and devout, leaving greed, corruption and iniquity far behind them. God will satisfy them with good!

Blessed are those, who have pure and clean hearts, who are disciplined and sanctified in bearing, word and deed. Blessed are those, who don’t go in dark, bad ways, but walk in the light of God and see him in joy and peace + (David Denicke, 1603-1680)

This is a translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Wednesday after the Sunday Reminiscere (Second Sunday in Lent). The hymn by Paul Gerhard was translated rather literally, but not poetically. Both are found on Pg. 127 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and puplished in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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