Merry Lent! In the name of Jesus. Amen. Proof. We all want it. We want it when the weatherman says it will snow and we want it when those who have authority over us tell us to stay home and isolate because of a virus. We want proof. We want to know that the action we take is not based on lies. We want to know that this virus is actually serious or if we need to waste the power plugging in our car because it will go down to -30 as the weatherman says.
Proof is a good thing. It helps us place our trust in things that we can rely on. Things that have been tested and proven. The rich man from our reading did not trust what God said to Him. The rich man ignored the Law of Moses and the prophets and chose to live trusting in Himself instead of God. When he died he suffered in Hades. He did not accept the proof that what God says is reliable. And there was proof. Everything that God said will happen, had happened. Israel was miraculously provided for in the desert as God had promised them. Israel did inherit the promised land. God did punish His people for their evil by bringing in an enemy nation to take them into exile. God did send a saviour for His people and all the people of the world. He did all these things and many more just as He earlier said He would. You want proof? There it is. God has given it; even when it was not necessary. The Psalm for today and this past Sunday show us that the people tested God and “put Him to the proof” about whether he would do what He said – even though He had already proved it to them time and again! They just had seen the 10 plagues that brought them out of Egypt just as God had told them would happen! Jesus has proved to us that He is God by His miracles and by His own words saying so. He even proved it by predicting His own death and resurrection and then doing it! These are not empty words. These are words to trust.
It would be smart of us to get a little better at trusting. When those God has put in authority over us tell us there is something dangerous to us and our neighbour we would be smart to listen to those authorities. The problem is that, unlike God, everybody else is riddled with sin – just like you and me. When they say something, they are not 100% trustworthy all the time. When they say something there might be something behind their words which is untrue mixed right alongside everything they say and do that is perfectly right and true! God has given authorities in our lives to help protect us and live as His servants in their offices – Political or medical, or whatever authority. How can you know for sure? With people, you look for proof and when it cannot be provided for whatever reason, you trust and follow those God has put in authority over you praying they do the godly thing, even knowing they won’t always do the right thing and they will make mistakes just like you and me because they also are sinners.
Who can you fully trust? God alone. 100%. He has proven to us over and over again that He is trustworthy, even when we do not deserve the proof He again provided it to us! He has given us His Holy Spirit, just as He promised He would, to help us be able to place our trust in Him and His love for us. He as given us the greatest sign, Jesus death on a cross and resurrection, to prove His love for us and to forgive us when we are wrong and untrustworthy to those around us and under our own God-given authority.
God has given us the proof today in His Word which proves to us His love through His great promises and actions He has done for us. We do not need a great blinding sign as St. Paul received or somebody else rising from the dead to tell us God is telling the truth, as Jesus rose. We trust in God and His unswerving love because He has proved Himself to us over and over again and tells you He made you, He loves you, and He forgives you in Jesus. Jesus and His walk to the cross for you.
Merry Lent. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.