Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
The story of Susanna teaches us that God will never abandon His children who remain faithful and upright regardless of the temptation they face in life. It is a true-life story that tells of the courage of a well-trained innocent woman who preferred to die rather than consent to sin.
The judges felt they could blackmail her into giving in to their inordinate desire but she said something that is real food for thought: “I am completely trapped. For if I do this, it will mean death for me; if I do not, I cannot escape your hands. I choose not to do it; I will fall into your hands, rather than sin in the sight of the Lord.” (Susanna 1:22-23 or Daniel 13)
Dear friends, it is always better to die for God’s sake than to live in sin. Nevertheless, when we stand for God, God never turns a blind eye at us. Our Psalmist today sings: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want… He is true to his name if I should walk in the valley of darkness, no evil will I fear… You have prepared a banquet for me in the sight of my foes.”
When all hope was lost for Susanna, God sent Daniel and endowed him with such wisdom and eloquence that no one could withstand him. The same judges who confessed to seeing this woman with a man gave conflicting answers when asked the name of the tree under which they saw the woman proving they were telling lies.
Every time we lie, we make the devil our father. This is why Jesus warned us today: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44).
Always say the truth to shame the devil. Never allow evil to fester in your heart. Keep your mind pure from all lustful desires and immoral thoughts. Even if there is no one to defend you, God, who is your true shepherd will not forsake you.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, clean my heart from all impurity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Daniel 13:1-9,15-17,19-30,33-62, Ps. 23, John 8:1-11).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu