Today’s Scripture – February 16, 2017

Matthew 18:10 (NIV)  “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Again, even though Jesus is pointing to a little child standing in the midst of the gathered disciples, His reference extends much further than that:  to those who are the people of the kingdom, humble and child-like in their trust.

Many over the centuries have looked down on and mistreated the Christians.  In the Roman culture, they were accused of atheism, not believing in the Roman gods.  The Jews accused them of heresy for claiming that God had a Son, and of worshiping Jesus as God.  At various times they have been accused of being infidels, agents of societal destruction, or enemies of the state.  Or, as in America today, they are alternatively depicted as spiritually naïve and backwards, or as sly corrupters of all that is good in society.

But in these few words, Jesus warns off any who would scorn the people of God, who would falsely accuse them or scapegoat them to promote a political agenda, or who would mistreat or persecute them.  Some are confused by His precise wording, wondering what He means by “their angels,” but His overall meaning is crystal clear:  the people of the kingdom matter to God, not just abstractly, but in a very concrete and personal way.  And, because of that, those who set themselves against God’s people, His little ones, will ultimately have to contend with God Himself.

This is not a new or original scriptural concept.  The whole of the Bible contains remarkable pictures of God’s coming to the defense of His people, including David’s powerful depiction of God as his rescuer in Psalm 18:4-19, and Zechariah’s statement that “whoever touches you (God’s people) touches the apple of (His) eye.” (Zechariah 2:8b)

God’s promises of His presence and defense of His people are just as valid today as they have ever been.  He has not, and will not, leave His people to fend for themselves, and any who look down on them or mistreat them will find themselves fighting against God Himself, the rescuer and defender of the people of the kingdom.

Father, thank You for these amazing and true promises.  You are great and mighty, and really are able to save to the uttermost all who turn to You.  When we are assailed or attacked, we can call on You for help, and You will ultimately make sure that everything is set right, and that all of the scales are balanced again.  I praise You today.  Amen.

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