Broken Trees

You say, ‘Swift are they on the face of the waters; their portion is cursed in the land; no treader turns toward their vineyards. Drought and heat snatch away the snow waters; so does Sheol those who have sinned. The womb forgets them; the worm finds them sweet; they are no longer remembered, so wickedness is broken like a tree.’
Job 24:18–20
Broken Trees
            Ask anyone who has been through a tornado, the power and destruction is astounding.  Vehicles which weigh thousands of pounds are tossed as if they were toys. Roofs are torn back as easily as opening a tin of sardines and trees are snapped into like toothpicks.  The destruction which nature can bring is truly frightening.  Job uses this imagery to describe the destruction which awaits all the wicked.  It will be swift and final. Yet it will not necessarily be in a time frame we would choose. We would prefer the wicked to be immediately rebuked and made to pay for their sins. Though we forget, if this were the case we would have been destroyed long before this day.  God does not count time as we do.  He is not slow to act as we count slowness.  “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). And in this way God shows His mercy towards a broken people, all of whom deserve death for our sins.  In His mercy God sent Jesus at the right time to die for us (Romans 5:6), in order that we might be rescued from sin, death, and the devil. As broken trees, planted in rocky soil, The blood of Christ uproots us, mends our brokenness, and plants us in the fertile soil of His Word and Sacraments. There we thrive, being watered through His Means of Grace.      
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