When He (Jesus) opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before You will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been. Revelation 6:9-11
NewsBusters is an Internet site which has dedicated itself to pointing out how our news is biased, unfair, inaccurate and, occasionally, idiotic. Recently, one of the NewsBusters' investigations had implications for the Christian community.
The story begins with a gorilla. Yes, you guessed right. We're talking about Harambe, the gorilla we spoke about last week in our devotion. You remember, Harambe who was shot when he started mauling a little boy who had climbed into the animal's enclosure.
Well, NewsBusters did a survey of the story as it had been carried by the major networks, you know, ABC, CBS and NBC. The total time dedicated to the telling of the gorilla's story came to one-hour, 28 minutes, and 17 seconds.
Remember that number.
Next, NewsBusters added up the news time which had been dedicated to the ISIS shooting of some 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. The ISIS film footage showed how these Christians were forced to kneel and then they were murdered. Before they died most of these martyrs called out their confidence and faith in Jesus Christ.
So there we have two news stories.
One gorilla who was shot and 21 unarmed Christians, who were executed, mob style, by members of another faith. The only thing you don't have is how much time the networks were willing to dedicate to the telling of the believers' plight. Well, I am prepared to give you that number. Compared to almost an hour and a half for the gorilla story, the Christians got 14 minutes and 30 seconds.
No wonder the martyrs in heaven call out, "How long before You will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?"
Now, my dear friends, I know this devotion is not going to change those networks or the people who run them. That would be expecting far too much.
But I do hope this information will touch and move you to remember that we have brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted for holding fast to the Christ. Even without a reminder from the news media, please remember these sufferers in your prayers.
Ask the Lord to give them strength and confidence in the Savior who warned, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (see John 15:18-25). Ask the Holy Spirit to enfold these souls and keep them confident in the Christ, who gave His life so they might have life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Your Words have been true throughout the centuries. Grant that we may never forget what You have done to save us. May we hold fast to our faith with as much confidence as do those who are under persecution. This I ask in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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