And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God." Revelation 12:10
A little over a month ago (May 29), we talked about Meriam Ibrahim who had been condemned to death by a Sudanese court for the "crime" of being a convert to Christianity. In her defense, Ibrahim had said, "Not so, my Islamic father deserted us, and my Christian mother raised me as a Christian." It was an argument that was rejected and, after she had given birth, she was sentenced to die.
To her credit, Ibrahim rejected the offer of clemency if she renounced her faith in the Christ.
Well, much has changed since the end of May. After a worldwide protest the Sudanese court reversed itself and allowed Ibrahim to go free.
Hoping for such a moment, her husband, an American citizen, had made preparations to rush his wife and children to safety. In anticipation of the husband's actions, the Sudanese government made plans of its own. When the family reached the airport, they were rearrested by a group of 40 men from the Sudanese Secret Service. The new charge placed against them: the family was traveling under falsified documents.
After another set of formal protests from all around the world, the entire family was released. But what should they do, and where should they go? The found an answer in the U.S. Embassy. There they found peace, security and the promise of safety.
Now I would not have spent so much time on Ibrahim's story, if it were not also our story.
Let me explain: like Ibrahim has had her accusers, we have ours. For our entire lives the devil, the accuser in our text above, has been building his case against us. On Judgment Day it is his intention to indict us for every sin we have ever committed. On that day we can expect he will be thorough and successful in his efforts to have us condemned to death.
As was the situation for Ibrahim, we can do our best to try and escape, but our accusers anticipate what we will do and foil every attempt we make to save ourselves.
Finally, like Ibrahim, we must recognize our release can only be won through the intercession of someone else. That Someone in whom we must place our trust is the Triune God.
The Psalmist is right when He says, "God is a refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Scripture is plain: in Jesus we are given asylum and sanctuary. Because of the Savior's sacrifice and resurrection, the "accuser ... has been thrown down." No longer do we fear death or the charges of our sin. Because of Holy Spirit-given faith, we have been saved, and the forces of evil cannot touch us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You are my refuge and hope. Only through Your intervention will our accusers be silenced and we will be granted escape from eternal death and given an everlasting home in heaven. May our lives be dedicated to giving thanks for all You have done. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
All too often the job of reaching others is left to others. That can be unfortunate. After all, there are times when YOU may be the best person to reach someone who is lost or wandering. If you have always wanted to know how to do such a sharing of the Savior, you may want to attend Lutheran Hour Ministries' SENT Outreach Conference, which is July 24-27 in Detroit. For more information, visit www.lhm.org/conference.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries