Mi 2:1-5 ; Ps 10:1-8,14 ; Mt 12:14-21
Not only do the wicked not believe in God, they believe that there are no consequences to their behavior. The wicked are convinced that they can get away with whatever their hearts desire. Because they do no believe in God, they do not fear the consequences of their injustice. As our Psalm asserts, “The wicked man boasts, ‘He will not avenge it’; ‘There is no God,’ sums up his thoughts.” This is the danger of the atheist and the agnostic in every age. They do not hold themselves responsible and they do not believe anyone else does either. Might makes right. They do what they want to whomever they want without hesitation or regret. In the face of such injustice the poor and powerless cry out, “Why, O LORD, do you stand aloof?” In their misery the poor cry out to the LORD, “Why hide in times of distress?” As they wait for help, the unfortunate behold the wicked caught in the devices they have contrived. Indeed, the wicked in every generation glory in their greed and the covetous blaspheme the LORD. They set his designs at nought. Their mouths are full of cursing, guile and deceit, and under their tongues are mischief and iniquity. They lurk in hiding and murder the innocent. Their eyes spy upon the unfortunate. Yet, the LORD notices them and he beholds the misery and sorrow they perform. The LORD takes them into his hands and they cannot escape. Indeed, the unfortunate depend upon the LORD, He is the helper of poor. Indeed, the LORD is the Father of the fatherless. This Helper and Father of the poor is proclaimed by the Prophet Micah. Indeed, The LORD has plans for this race of evil, and from these plans they will not escape. The Lord Jesus seems helpless and fatherless in the plans of the Pharisees who seek to put him to death. His Father will help him and raise him up because Jesus is the Beloved in whom the Father delights. In His Name we hope, and we are not afraid because the LORD does not forget the poor.
Even the wicked and powerful among the people of God will not escape from his justice and mercy. The Prophet Micah cries out, “Woe to those who plan iniquity, and work out evil on their couches”. The wicked, who are possessed by greed and covet their neighbor’s goods and wife, will be visited by the LORD of the poor and powerless. The LORD has plans for them. They will no longer escape from the judgment of God and they will not walk with heads held high. Their power and their pride are about to evaporate in the flames of God’s justice. The poor and unfortunate will sing a new song; a satire they will chant. The rich and greedy will have no recourse to the justice of the LORD’s assembly. Indeed, they will be captives and exiles from the land they captured by every perversion of justice. The mercy of the LORD will consume them like a fire, and all that makes them powerful will be destroyed till nothing remains. Only the powerless and the poor will be left upon the land once taken from them. The feet of the poor will trample the city of the haughty. This prophecy is a warning to every generation of those who do not fear the LORD. Those who say there is no God will see and will tremble at his sight. This prophecy sustains the powerless in every land and in every generation.
The Pharisees did not welcome the good news in yesterday’s gospel. They could not bear the proclamation of Jesus, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”. Such prophecy was not good news for the powerful who made their wealth from manipulating the law to their own advantage, socially and economically. Saint Matthew reveals their plans to see occasion to kill him. They doubled their efforts to catch the Lord Jesus in some violation of the law so they could justify their wicked counsel. The Lord Jesus could not ignore such hate. He removed himself from the market place and still the people followed him. The poor and needy felt the Lord’s compassion and needed his wisdom. He continued to heal their infirmities of spirit and flesh, but he asked them not to make it known to his enemies. The Lord Jesus knew that he was to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. The Lord Jesus knew that he was the Suffering Servant of the LORD. He knew the Father’s delight in his mission and ministry, in his very person. The Father placed his Spirit upon him from the moment of his conception within the Virgin’s womb. His only Begotten Son from all eternity had the Holy Spirit hovering upon him, and in his incarnation that Spirit continued to empower and embolden the Suffering Son and Servant. By his preaching and healing and exorcising the Lord Jesus revealed the Father’s love and mercy upon the House of Israel and upon the Gentiles as well. He came not contending or crying out in the streets. He came in gentleness and compassion not breaking the bruised reed nor quenching the smoldering wick. The Lord Jesus came in victory bringing the Father’s Kingdom of justice and peace. Indeed, those denied justice and peace can trust in his Name, Jesus, the One who saves.