Vegas violence

How can you contemplate the Las Vegas shootings without immense heaviness of heart?

How can you wrap your mind around five dozen funerals this week? around the almost five hundred who were wounded, some of whom may still not make it? around the presence of such naked evil? This must be close to what Satan himself is like—utter contempt for the lives and families of others . . . imagining that shooting down unarmed people somehow is a remarkable feat . . . a monster pretending to be human like the people around him.

Where do you go with your grief? with your hurt? with your questions? 

Las Vegas is yet one more brutal reminder that life on this earth is uncertain and short. Now is the time to repent of your sins. Now is the time to listen to God’s Word. Now is the time to trust in Christ as your Savior from all sin. 

Here are four takeaways from the Word:

#1 It has always been this way. “I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. Destructive forces are at work in the city; threats and lies never leave its streets” (Psalm 55:9-11).

#2 In his own time and in his own way, God has brought justice to the violent. More than three millennia before Christ, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence” (Genesis 6:11). The great flood that God launched was not a meteorological anomaly. It was a judgment on human evil.

#3 We all want heaven on earth. We won’t get it. But thankfully God sets limits to this age so that we won’t have to experience fully hell on earth either. Please pray with me: “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure—you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts” (Psalm 7:9).

#4 God always has the last word. May I invite you to ponder and trust the words of Psalm 11 with me?

“In the LORD I take refuge. How then can you say to me: ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?’

"The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them. The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face."

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

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