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The Scepter of Wickedness

The Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
July 27, 2014 – Psalm 125
“the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous” Vs. 3
Immoveable, that’s how the psalm depicts those who trust in the Lord: immoveable like a mountain. Not any mere mountain, this mountain is Zion, Jerusalem, the Lord’s holy hill. Where the Lord rules, wickedness has no authority. Oh, it may still have power but it has no authority. Wickedness, without a “scepter,” has no ruling authority, only a besetting power. The psalmist calls on the Lord to separate the good from the evildoers, “Put the good with the good but put the evildoers with the evildoers.” It’s almost as if the psalmist asks the Lord to enact the proverbial statement: “Birds of a feather flock together.”
You, though, have heard the parables of Jesus. You know the parable of the wheat and the tares (Mt. 12:24-30). When asked whether or not the weeds should be gathered out of the wheat, the answer from the owner is no. You also know the parable of the sheep and goats (Mt. 25:31-46). When confronted with the reality of the kindness they’d shown, the sheep ask in surprise: “When did we do this?”
As with the psalmist’s prayer… as with Jesus’ parables… the mystery of evil and wickedness as present among the good and the righteous only receives resolution in the light of Jesus Christ coming in his glory. Until then, you wait… you wait and rest upon the forgiveness of sin and the promise of being immoveable in the authority of the Lord.
Table Talk: Discuss why the presence of wickedness must be left a mystery.
Pray: Father in heaven, hold me immoveable in the faith of Jesus, under his authority where the scepter of evil has no sway. Amen
Table Talk is written by Rev. Timothy Swenson, Dean of Chapel for the Institute of Lutheran Theology

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