The 8th Commandment: God Protects our Reptuation With His Own Blood! 2 Samuel 22:26-34

August 14, 2022
Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

"With the merciful, you will show yourself merciful!" Our God - Christ Jesus is Mercy! He opens our lips to declare His praise by being kind and forgiving with our words. We are to explain the action of our fellow sinners in the kindest way possible. Sermon Text: 2 Samuel 22:26-34. Sermon Theme: "The 8th Commandment: God Protects Our Reputation With His Own Blood!" Preached for the 9th Sunday After Trinity, 14-August-2022, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Tell City, Indiana by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

Episode Notes

The Ninth Sunday After Trinity                               14-August-2022
Sermon Text: 2 Samuel 22:26-34
Theme: The 8th Commandment: God Protects Our Reputation With His Own Blood!  by Rev. Nathan J. Rusert

I.N.R.I. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me!” was the response repeated in grade school to those making fun of us on the playground. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” One researcher found the phrase occurred in an American periodical “The Christian Recorder” in 1862. There it was written: “Remember the old adage, 'Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me'. True courage consists in doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions.” This was a sober reminder to a nation embroiled in a civil war to continue to follow our Creator’s commandments. The Holy Spirit teaches us through the pen of St. Paul, Rom 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. (9) For the commandments, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY," "YOU SHALL NOT MURDER," "YOU SHALL NOT STEAL," "YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS," "YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Love isn’t a blind acceptance of sin and the perversion it brings. Satan preaches the lie that evil is good and good is evil. Love flows from our Creator and flows in the banks of His good and gracious will for our lives - The Ten Commandments. We have true courage, doing what is right, despite the jeers and sneers of our companions -when we by Christ’s power live these commandments and warn those who break them of God’s wrath and punishment of evil. Christianity doesn’t compromise with the world’s ever changing values and the father of lies who controls it. Christianity confesses the ever unchanging Truth - The Ten Commandments, The Apostles’ Creed, and The Lord’s Prayer. Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
    Words can be deadly. “Has God indeed said..”Satan masquerading as a serpent hissed his lying words to our first parents in paradise to lead them from the life giving Truth. He lied that the Creator didn’t care for them. He lied promising them godhood if they only broke the Lord’s command. His lying words brought sin, shame, guilt, and death into our once perfect world through our father Adam. We are conceived and born captive to Satan, his lies, sin, and death. We have no free will in spiritual matters - as the Lord God promises He safely delivered Noah, his family, and all living land dwelling creatures from the world wide flood: Gen 8:21-22 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done. (22) "While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease." Trusting in the Creator’s Word of Promise to send the Messiah, Whose one sacrifice would make all things new again, Noah had offered up a burnt offering of all clean animals and birds. Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself for us sinners upon the cross have paid our price in full. His blood cleanses us from all our sins as He makes all things new.
  Therefore this morning pray with King David, Psa 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Learn: The 8th Commandment: God Protects Our Reputation With His Own Blood!
    David writes a true praise song of Christ in the 18th Psalm. It is also recorded in 2 Samuel 22 from which today’s Old Testament lesson is taken. The Lord had delivered David from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of wicked King Saul. David sings, (2 Sam. 22:26-28) David would not speak ill of King Saul. He would not lift his hand against this ruler who sought to murder him, for Saul was the Lord’s anointed. He trusted Christ’s rule over the kings of this earth to bring justice in His time. David’s words were not of rebellion, but sought reconciliation. They were Christ like words. (LSB pg. 321 8th Cmdt W.D.T.M?)
    Next to our home, our life, God’s calling written in our chromosomes to be male or female and living a sexually chaste and decent life within marriage, and the private property He entrusts us to manage for Him - the Lord God blesses us with a “name” - a “reputation.” Pro 22:1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver and gold. Your name is “Mudd” became a popular retort after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Why? Dr. Samuel Mudd was a physician that treated John Wilkes Booth’s fracture leg. He was accused and convicted of being part of Booth’s conspiracy though later pardoned. Names carry a reputation with them - it isn’t a compliment to call someone a “Jezebel,” “Judas Iscariot,” “Benedict Arnold”, “Hitler”, “Stalin”, “Mao.” These names speak of betrayal, lies, or the slaughter of millions to build a Marxist utopia.
    The 8th Commandment sets a guard around our neighbor’s name - we are not to give false testimony against our neighbor. In the era of social media, digitalized gossip, our world has tossed out the 8th Commandment. Satan is the accuser. Adam chained in sin and running with Satan immediately accuses God and the wife He gave him as the cause of his breaking the Creator’s command. Satan puffs up our old adam in haughty pride - so we seek to be the judge, jury, and executioner of our neighbor’s reputation. Our news media reports accusations as immediately true and we love to roll in the manure. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights flowed from the most perfect form of natural law - the Ten Commandments - it holds that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Rejecting the Truth now our culture holds someone guilty until they prove themselves innocent.
    Jesus tells us of the unjust manager wasting the rich man’s goods. Charges are made. The books must be opened to verify the accusation. If found true the manager will be fired. (LSB pg. 321 8th Cmdt W.D.T.M?) Fear God’s wrath - He alone is the Judge who knows the thoughts and intents of every heart. Don’t presume to judge others by appearance, or the accusations others make against them. We are not to tell lies about our neighbor. A lie is an untruth. If you aren’t an eyewitness of the gossip you are repeating - you are a liar. If all you repeat is word of mouth - you are a liar. If you don’t have enough evidence to bring it before a court of law - then you are telling or repeating lies. A gossip has the devil on his tongue, and those who listen have the devil in their ear. Satan is the father of lies - watch your words. In our haughtiness we love to lie - tearing down our neighbor’s name to build us up in our self-righteous delusion.
  We break this commandment when we betray our neighbor’s secrets. Pro 11:13 A talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” The seal of the confessional doesn’t just apply to pastors - it applies to all Christians. St. James teaches, Jas 5:16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” When a Christian brother or sister seeks reconciliation through Christ in confession and absolution - what is spoken is only between you two and Christ. Christ uses your ears to listen and your mouth to speak healing words of absolution - forgiveness from His cross. Pro 17:9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.”
    We break this commandment when we slander our neighbor. Satan used the Pharisees and Sadducees to slander Jesus before Pilate’s court of law. Slander has been Satan’s constant weapon against Christ, His Church, and those true preachers of His Word. The world allied with Satan will speak evil against the truth. The anti-God religion of wokeism cannot tolerate the Truth - Jesus tells you, Joh 15:18-21 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (19) If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (20) Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. (21) But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” We face persecution and slander for speaking the truth to those who are chained in darkness. (2 Sam. 22:29-31)
David clung to Christ the Light of the world, even in the darkest days he would not speak evil of slandering Saul’s reputation.  
    Christian do not give the devil your tongue to tear down one another’s reputations. You are freed from Satan’s accusations through Christ’s blood to forgive. (LSB pg. 324 5th Pet.W.D.T.M?) Be honest! You daily sin much. You deserve only hell. God looks not on your sin, but on Christ sacrificed for you. He forgives. He frees you to forgive. The unjust steward trusts in his merciful master - he forgives the debt of others - the merciful master praises his shrewdness.   You are freed through Christ’s blood to forgive - to open your mouth to build each other up in His Word. (2 Sam. 22:32-34) David’s way is made blameless through Christ’s cross won forgiveness of his sins.
    Now you are freed in Christ to give away His love and forgiveness as you protect your neighbor’s name! (LSB pg. 321 8th Cmdt W.D.T.M?) First of all we defend our neighbor. Instead of repeating gossip, we speak to preserve their name. We call the gossiper to repent and seek reconciliation. If they know the matter to be true beyond any doubt they are to follow Jesus’ command in Matthew 18 and go speak to the offender privately seeking repentance and reconciliation in Christ. If the sinner repents they are to rejoice with God’s angels in heaven forever burying the sin in Christ’s tomb and rise to new life in Jesus.
    Secondly we are to speak well of one another. Rom 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.” Satan tears us apart with lying words, God the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Lord of Life builds us up and binds us together in Christ’s Church with healing words of mercy. His way is blameless and He strengthens us in His mercy.
      Thirdly we are to explain everything in the kindest possible way. Not assuming the other guilty or hateful of us for their actions. This is especially important within families. Husbands and wives, parents and children, should seek to explain everything in the kindest way possible - instead of allowing Satan and our own sinful flesh to tear us apart assuming the worst of others. “Words can never hurt me?”Mat 12:35-37 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. (36) But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. (37) For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." Lord Jesus, Psa 141:3 Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips - open my lips to declare Your mercy alone. Amen.

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