Reading: Psalm 43
Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause
against an unfaithful nation.
Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked.
You are God my stronghold.
Why have you rejected me?
Why must I go about mourning,
oppressed by the enemy?
Send me your light and your faithful care,
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy mountain,
to the place where you dwell.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God, my joy and my delight.
I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God (NIV).
A traditional altar, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Landestreu, Saskatchewan — photo by David Kitz
I want to be proven right. Over and over again I find myself pleading to be heard—pleading to be proven right. That’s what it means to be vindicated. As I look about my country—as I look about the world—and read or watch the news of the day, I see so much injustice. Senseless death and destruction are everywhere.
In some cases courts that are intended to protect the innocent and vulnerable do the complete opposite. Evil is on a rampage. Islamic militants taunt and behead the innocent. Russian tanks have invade Ukraine as long range artillery flattens villages. Vicious rapists glory in their shame. In our cities gangster thugs roam freely.
But there is a better way—the way of the cross—the way of the Prince of Peace. Why can’t others see it? Why can’t they grasp it? Along with David we cry out, “Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked.”
In this bleak state of affairs, David appeals to the mercy of LORD, “Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.”
David journeys to the altar. He is altered at the altar. The world is altered at the altar of God. Vindication comes at the altar. Victories over sin are won at the altar. Jesus is the sacrifice on the altar of God and when we gaze on him we are changed. Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” (John 3:14-15). Because of the cross—the altar of God—we have hope for the future.
Response: LORD God, alter me at the foot of the cross. I need you to change my heart, my life, my attitude. I put my hope in you, Lord. You are my Savior and my God. Amen.
Your Turn: Has your life been altered by the cross?