Posted in Devotions, Lent

2020 Lent devotion #21 – Blood on the water

When all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to put on armor, from the youngest to the oldest, were called out and were drawn up at the border. And when they rose early in the morning and the sun shone on the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. And they said, “This is blood; the kings have surely fought together and struck one another down. Now then, Moab, to the spoil!” But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose and struck the Moabites, till they fled before them. And they went forward, striking the Moabites as they went. (2 Kings 3:21-24)

What a great story! All of Moab, every available soldier, is ready to fight against Israel. Then get up in the morning and the water they see before them looks like blood. What could have happened? Obviously their enemies have turned against each other. This is our chance. Let’s go in and plunder whatever is left. 

Nope. It’s just an illusion. It’s a trap to draw Moab in. Israel is ready, waiting for them. God’s people win a great victory!

Here’s the thing. God said he would do this. He said he would give them both water and victory. And he did! 

So what do you and I have? We’ve got the water of baptism. We’ve got his blood in the sacrament. We’ve got the victory. So when the odds seem against us, we should be confident. We are more than conquerors through him who him who loved us!

Thank you, Lord, for the water, the blood and the victory!

Posted in Israel

Water flowing

I love this picture. It is one of my favorites from our trip to Israel. I took this picture at the Church of the Beatitudes, possibly the site where Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount beginning in Matthew 5.

The streams flowing from the altar reminded me of two bible passages:

“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple, and behold, water was issuing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold of the temple, south of the altar” (Ezekiel 47:1).

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).

In that moment, I felt like I was there. In between the ancient prophecy of Ezekiel and the not-yet visions of Revelation, I was captivated by the streams of life-giving water flowing from the altar. Jesus died and rose so that I might have life in the waters of my baptism. For me, this was a breath-taking moment to remember.

Yes, I felt blessed The mosaic words capture the moment well: “Praise to you, O Christ!”