June 19, 2008
The Lord is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation. Numbers 14:18
Last week, CNN reported on the construction of the new Olympic Park in London, England. The report shared how the contractors had run into a teeny, tiny little problem.
The problem occurred when the excavators came across a four-foot by two-foot object. Since the workers couldn't exactly figure out what the object was, they hooked it up to some machinery and yanked it to the surface.
When the work crew got a good look at the "it" they had unearthed, they ran. Not a bad idea since it was an unexploded bomb - - a 2,200-pound German bomb left over from World War II.
When the construction crew finally stopped running, they called the military bomb squad who immediately began to dismantle the device. The bomb apparently didn't like the army's disassembly because it responded by beginning to tick - - a sure sign the timer had been reactivated.
To shorten the story, the bomb disposal team eventually got the ticking stopped, managed to drill into the device, remove the explosives, and turn the bomb into scrap.
When I read that story, I thought about how sad it is that a battle fought 50 years ago could still endanger someone's life today. How tragic it is that evil seems to take on a life of its own and reach out to touch other generations.
That's true for an unexploded bomb in London, land mines dotting the countrysides of nations around the world, and homes where children are learning about jealousy, anger, and hatred - - all from their parents.
The sins of the fathers upon the children - - that's what the book of Numbers talks about. It's one of those passages about which people say, "That's not fair." No, it's not. But it is our reality, and it stems from our long-lasting disobedience and disregard of the Lord.
Thankfully, even though sin has managed to touch us all, the Christ can too. The sinless Son of God came to this earth so evil's stranglehold on humankind would be broken. Because Christ has risen, the bomb of sin has been defused. Because Jesus lives, those who have been given faith know that they, too, shall also live.
Through His perfect life, His sacrificial death, and His victorious resurrection, Jesus has guaranteed that sin, Satan, and death will not have the last word in the lives of those who believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for saving me from this world and myself, I praise Your Name. May this day be lived in the freedom from fear that You have given. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries