Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer: May 24, 2020

Table of Duties — To Widows; To Everyone

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Catechesis Notes for the Week —Psalm 79—A Prayer When the Lord Allows Enemies to Invade His Kingdom—Psalm 79 is a lament from God’s people who have been suffering under the oppression of an unbelieving people who invaded the kingdom of Judah. It is important to note that this “invasion” was God’s judgment against Jerusalem. Foreign nations have come into the inheritance of the Lord, not as converts to the faith, but as those who came to destroy. “Your holy temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps.” It is difficult, at times, to grasp that God actually uses His enemies to do His bidding.  In this case, He raised up foreign powers to visit His judgment against His Old Testament Church as a call to repentance.  This is why Psalm 79 includes a corporate confession of sins: “Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake!”  The New Testament Church often finds herself in the same situation. The culture is against the Church. False doctrine threatens the Gospel. Foreign powers try to silence the Church’s witness. We suffer oppression in various forms. Against the backdrop of all of this, we cry out with the psalmist: “How long, Lord? Will You be angry forever?” In the end, it is not the Lord’s intention to destroy, no matter how intense His judgment may get. Instead, it is His intention to save and rescue. So we pray with the psalmist: “We, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.” CP200524