Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
do no violence to his home;
for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
If you are afraid to walk from the church building over to Rittenhouse Square after the evening service, raise your hand. Philadelphia is a wonderful city. It is a very walkable city, and it is the city in which God has seen fit to plant and prosper Tenth Presbyterian Church for well over 180 years. Still, the city can be a scary place. It can be a place where, indeed, the wicked lie in wait for the righteous. It can be a place of violence, and it seems sometimes that the threat continues unabated. It can seem like those who are out to harm just keep on coming.
From a cosmic perspective, however, this is not so. The wicked do stumble in times of calamity. Ultimately, the wicked will not only stumble, but will be crushed. “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him” (Matthew 21:43-45). When Jesus comes back, all wickedness will be destroyed.
There is more. In the meantime, even though the righteous may fall, even though the righteous may fall time and again, each time they will rise. Jesus, the Great Shepherd, will not lose any of the sheep that have been entrusted into his care. He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion in the day of Christ Jesus. The Christian, by the grace of God, will fight the good fight and will finish the race.
Christian, stumble and fall you will, but even as Jesus rose from the dead, so will he raise you up from each of your stumbling, until that great day when he raises you up even to his side with the Heavenly Father.
© 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Dan Kunkle. © 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org