April 6, 2010
If thieves came to you, if plunderers came by night -- how you have been destroyed! -- would they not steal only enough for themselves? . . . Obadiah 1:5a
In 1883, the Indonesian island of Krakatoa exploded.
Along with killing 36,000 people, the volcano caused a real mess. The dust thrown into the sky provided great sunsets, but it dropped temperatures around the world.
Not so long ago, an Indonesian businessman came to the people who lived on Sebesi Island. For those of us whose geography is a bit rusty, Sebesi is the island in Krakatoa's backyard.
Sebesi is, in short, a frightening location to live.
As I said, a businessman showed up and offered to dig some channels in Krakatoa that would direct the flow of lava and thereby minimize the possibility of another explosion. It was a plan which made sense, and the natives accepted it gladly.
Not long afterward, the businessman got to work. But he did not do what he had promised. His men and his ships started dredging up the island. In short, the man wasn't saving Krakatoa, he was stealing it. So, what's the big deal?
The big deal is this: In recent years Indonesia has seen entire islands disappear as profiteers steal and sell those islands to reclamation projects in China, Thailand, and Singapore.
Obadiah says plunderers and thieves usually only steal enough for themselves. But these guys steal and they keep stealing. Does that sound like anyone else we know?
Read through the first few chapters of Genesis. There we see how Satan committed himself to stealing that which belonged to God. The father of lies promised wisdom and discernment to our first parents -- he promised it -- but, he lied.
In a flash, he took everything from us that God had given. That's the way it was back then; that's the way it is today. The devil promises something, delivers nothing, and tries to take everything.
This is precisely why we need a Savior. We need a Savior to point out Satan's lies; we need a Savior who resists those lies on our behalf. We need a Savior who is strong enough to carry our sins. We need a Savior who tells us the truth.
And what is the truth of the Christ? He says, ". . . Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19b).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Your Son and Your Word. They are true and truth. May You give me the ability to identify Satan's lies and teach others to do the same. Keep me in the truth. Your Word is Truth. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries