8 From Heaven You pronounced judgment,
and the land feared and was quiet —
9 when You, God, rose up to judge,
to save all the afflicted of the land.
10 Surely Your wrath against mankind brings You praise,
and the survivors of Your wrath are restrained.
11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfil them.
Let all the neighbouring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers;
He is feared by the kings of the earth.
~ Psalm 76
We don’t like to talk about the wrath of God. It somehow seems ‘unChristlike’, and yet that is because we have a wrong perception of Jesus as the ‘nice’ one, rather than the Christ who drove out the money-changers from the temple, fought the devil and rebukes the Pharisees. One of the differences between our anger and God’s wrath is that our anger so often condemns and embarrasses us — God’s wrath brings Him praise, as He deals righteously with all the unrighteous things in our world. Sometimes God has to break the spirit of rulers, in order that He may be feared. We pray — ‘in wrath remember mercy’.
“Death dies when I die. It is a sweet passage to life.
We never live until we die. This was Paul’s art.
He had a care to look beyond death, to heaven;
and when he looked upon death,
he looked on it but as a passage to Christ;
so let it be our art and skill!”
Petition: Please join with us in praying for:
1. The World — The number of confirmed cases is 54,273,403 (up 3,960,209 from last week).
There have been 1,315,767 deaths of people with Covid-19 (up 60,582).
The US is now seeing 150,000 cases per day, Europe over 200,000.
India has seen a steady drop in the number of cases — it also has a lower death rate.
There is concern about the situation in Peru, where despite one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the number of cases has been very high. There have been riots as people object to the lockdown measures. The President and now interim President have resigned.
2. Australia – now has had 27,725 cases (up 67 compared with 67 in the previous week with only 1 being community transmission), with 907 deaths (+0 compared with 0 the previous week).
|State||Total Cases||Weekly Change TW/LW||Total Deaths||Change in Deaths TW/LW|
|NSW||4,495||+ 33 (37)||53||0|
|TAS||230||+ 0 (0)||13||0|
There are 21 people in hospital (+2), with 0 in intensive care (-1).
9,379,339 tests have been carried out, with 0.3% being positive.
25,317 people have recovered. There are 69 (-21) active cases.
As I write this news, is coming through of an outbreak of at least 17 cases in Adelaide, because of a cluster coming through a worker in a quarantine centre. These things will happen — pray that the track and trace system will work as well in South Australia as it has been in NSW.
3. Vaccine and Cures – The past week has been a big week for vaccine hopes. The Pfizer vaccine was announced as being 90% successful and the wealthier countries are proposing to start inoculating at the end of the year. Pray that this, and other vaccines will be rolled out safely, fairly and effectively.
4. Church – The Church is always being tempted to compromise on the Gospel. But to compromise the Gospel is to change the Gospel. Pray for faithful and loving pastors and preachers who will uphold the truth of the Gospel — whatever the cost.
5. Personal and Family – There are those who are deeply pained at the enforced separation from loved ones. If you will forgive me for being personal, I was speaking to my daughter last night in Scotland. She is getting married on the 5th of December and we will not be able to attend the wedding. There are many others who are not able to visit the sick, attend funerals, visit children, attend weddings. Pray for all who feel this separation, and may the Lord’s people be truly family to one another.
A Prayer of Repentance:
O Lord, Psalm 76 tells us that You alone are to be feared. You are radiant with light.
Yet we fear many other things and we too often wander in darkness.
Forgive us for the way that we look at ourselves and fear others,
rather than look at, and fear and love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Song of Praise: This is a beautiful version of My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness, by the Gettys.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving:
O Lord, we praise You that You break the spirit of rulers, but lift up the spirits of the poor.
We rejoice that You are the one whose rebuke makes ‘horse and chariot’ stand still (Psalm 76:6).
We bless You that when You pronounce judgement, the land fears and is quiet.
O Lord, grant to us Your mercy and grace. In Christ’s Name, Amen.