Genesis 6:9-22; Hebrews 4:1-13; John 2:13-22
From the Reformer
Accordingly, God does not speak with us as one human being speaks with another. “His words are like a two-edged sword by which hearts are pierced” (Heb 4:12). Therefore our hearts are not proud but are humbled to the utmost; they do not boast of works or merits, but with Job they take fright of all their works. Nor do they find anything to set against God’s wrath, but they see and feel that even their righteous works are unclean and polluted before God. Thus Augustine’s famous statement is often repeated: “Woe to the life of men, be it ever so praiseworthy, if mercy has been withdrawn!”
—Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis
Pulling It Together
When I was a boy, I had a great idea, and got my three sisters to help me make our parents breakfast in bed. We fixed everything breakfasty we could get our hands on, and served it to our smiling parents. We then went out to play, leaving the dirty kitchen for them to clean up.
We sure can make a mess of things. Humanity fouled up the creation God called good to such a degree that he had to clean house. The chosen people overturned a good temple, making it into a den of thieves, and Jesus cleaned house.
The Hebrews reading teaches why our ideas turn bad: we hear what we what to hear but do not listen to God. The good news comes to us but we turn it into something other than the intended good. We are disobedient to God’s will, calling our will his. The same good word that originally came to us then becomes the sharp word of God that judges our intentions and actions.
We cannot go outside and play, running from our messed up response to the word and will of God. All will be called to account.
Prayer: Lord, may your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen.