Messages from Pastor Raddatz

July 11, 2021, Amos 7:7-15, Ephesians 1:3-14 and Mark 6:14-29


Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky” (Psalm 85:10-11 ESV)

Grace mercy and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,


And so, we turn in our Bibles to Psalm 85, prepared for the director of music by “the sons of Korah.” And what follows is a Psalm that recounts, cries out for, and anticipates the peacefulness of God in the restoration of all things. I rather like the division given by David J. Zucker:

“In brief, the psalm addresses the people’s return to Judah, and forgiveness for their wrongdoing. This is followed by a prayer for full restoration, and the psalmist’s anticipation that God will bring peace and salvation.

Who are the Sons of Korah?

Exodus 6:24 says that “the sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the clans of the Korahites” (ESV).

The Psalter scholar David Mitchell writes, “the Korahite Lévites were musicians and singers in the temple cult . . .” The Korahites were responsible for the care of the sanctuary, the Ark of the covenant, the altars, the curtain, and everything related to the liturgical and ceremonial life of Israel. They were under the supervision of Eleazar, the son of Aaron.

The patriarch of this clan, Korah, was one of the rebellious group of men who challenged the divinely appointed divinely appointed leadership of Moses and Aaron, that is, rebellion against the priesthood and prophetic ministry (Numbers chapter 16).

The Bible describes a horrendous judgment upon these rebels, including Korah. God caused the earth to open up and as the ground under them split apart, the rebels were swallowed by the hungry earth, along with their households and almost everything associated with them. Number 16:28 through 35 gives the amazing details of God’s judgment upon Korah and his contumacious (stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority) cohorts.

What is interesting is that God spared the Sons of Korah. He still loved them and wanted to use them as his servants!  Numbers 26:9 through 11 tells that story. Indeed, after seven generations, the prophet Samuel came out of the line of Korah (1 Chronicles 6:31)


Peace is more than calm circumstances with “no drama”.   Even when you don’t want to do “drama” it will find you.  When your world comes crashing down with anxiety remember God brings peace.  

It is imperative for us to understand that the condition that we find ourselves in as human beings is not one that can be remedied through our own resourcefulness. Our fallen condition may only be remedied by God. As the Psalm recalls God’s faithfulness to the cries of spiritual forebearers, so, too, think about the faith of your fathers and your mothers and great grandmothers and great-grandfathers and how they called upon the Lord in days past. We would do well to remember the faithfulness of our loved ones who have gone before. Perhaps, the point of faithful reference is, indeed, your mother or grandmother. Perhaps a grandfather. Maybe, though, the faithful one in your mind is a teacher, possibly a coach. But the important thing is that you see that faithful believers who have gone before were faithful because God took the first step towards them. Their witness is the golden truth that God initiates all saving work.  -Michael Milton 

God is the one who covered all our sins, v. 2.  His “steadfast love” is present whether he is disciplining us or whether he is blessing us.  It is God who atones for our sins through the shedding of Christ’s blood.  God does not forgive sins by DISMISSING IT, instead he satisfies it through Jesus on the cross.  His blood cleanses us from all our sins”, 1 John 1:7 NIV.  Through Jesus we are made right with him.  Thanking God for his steadfast love.  We can ask God to show us his steadfast love, as in v. 7.  God’s spirit still redirects us to him and away from those things that do not satisfy our need for love.

It’s like an old dog, and I have one, who goes to a dirty puddle in our backyard when he wants to drink water.  He will get sick if he continues to do this.  To stop him from doing this I have to interrupt his behavior and bring him to the clean water I have for him on the porch or inside the house. 

This is why God reminds us that righteousness and peace go together.


God made us right with him through Jesus Christ.  This brings us lasting peace.  

The righteousness of God is given us through faith in Jesus Christ.  They meet in him.  Through our baptism they are in us.  This kiss is not just a peck on the cheek!  It is an everlasting embrace.  It is the “two become one flesh” but the two are still unique.  In their uniqueness they walk together and live together as one. This is just like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was true God and true man.  Two distinct entities united in one person.  Jesus is our hope for restoration and wholeness.


A Pastor wrote, I remember when our son, John Michael, was just a toddler. He was beginning to walk. I would hold him up and help to balance him on his feet. He would walk three or four steps and he would turn around and look at me. I would encourage him to walk some more. Again, he would walk a few steps and look at me. If he began to wobble he knew that I was there. He was able to go forward in that little phase of his life because he trusted in an unswerving and completely dedicated love and protection that I had for him. Thus, he was able to walk into his future.

Some of you might be having trouble walking forward in life today. Some of you are having trouble going forward in your relationships. Many of us experience worries over many things. The worries immobilize us in life. But, oh, if we would look to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and recognize that his covenant love will never let us go, then, we will more nearly move forward to the place God wants us to be. There is healing with Jesus for His love casts out fear, thus, I direct you to the steadfast love of God in this Psalm. Go and drink the remedy, the cordial of life, from the Lord of life, so that you can move again; so that you can take your baby steps and soon, begin to run free into the sunlit uplands of God’s providence and his plan for your life. - Michael Milton

We thank and praise God that mercy and truth are met and righteousness and peace kiss each other in the everlasting union with our heavenly Father.  

May this peace, which surpasses every single human understanding, keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting, Amen.

Pastor John Raddatz

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