"And making a whip..." (John 2:15).
This week's devotion is by the late Richard Wurmbrand.
Paul said to a sorcerer named Elymas, "O full of all subtlety and all mischief, thou child of the devil," and he cursed him to blindness (Acts 13:9-11). Paul would have sinned if he had been meek toward an enemy of righteousness.
Luther wrote to a duke who opposed the Word: "Ass of all asses, bloody dog, lying mouth, thick sausage, son of the devil." In a later letter he expresses his wonder that he could have written so gently and explains: "A Christian is a man who has hatred and enmity against nobody, but nurtures only love and goodness; but a preacher must have guts, must bite salt, and say the whole truth, because this is what the Word of God does. It hurts the whole world; it puts its hand into the throats of rulers and princes; it thunders and lightens and assaults big mountains.... As far as I am concerned, I would do no harm and say nothing against any man, but as regards the enemies of the Word of God, you should know no friendships and no love."
Christians must be fighters against evil in the church and in the world. They must fight for justice in society, for peace and progress. "The kingdom of God suffereth violence" (Matt. 11:12).
The Christian does not indulge in small conflicts. He would not quarrel with his wife or neighbor, but when he has to fight the evil which has penetrated the church, he must always have before him the image of Jesus with the whip in His hand. He must hit and not have remorse. Jesus never apologized to the merchants He had driven out. Hatred toward sin cannot be expressed in dignified words, as love cannot be cold and formal. There can be no politeness toward sin. Love the sinner and awaken him through striking ruthlessly at his sinfulness.