The mural on the wall painted in the front of the large auditorium,  was of Mr. Lenin, arm raised as if leading a charge of the workers who were painted with determination on their faces as they marched to victory through the land of Russia.  We all stood gazing at the mural and sang with purpose with our voices raised in worship and praise…

Our God is an awesome God, LeninHe reigns from heaven above,With wisdom power and love, Our God is an awesome God!

Those words, powerfully and joyfully sung, sounded forth for the first time in the history of that building. A worship service happening under the mural depicting the now fading, disappearing philosophy that brought such crushing damage to Russia and the world. We were in the auditorium to hear “The Director of Special Education for Russia”.  He would be telling us why we had been invited to Russia and how it was that he was able to bring about this once in a lifetime opportunity.  We sang some more worship songs, followed by some great hymns of our faith and then prayed.  What a awesome feeling surged through those 200 believers, meeting in the capital of Russia, praying for the blessing of God to pave the way for our year of ministry in that dark land.   We then read the 52 verses of Psalm 89, the last psalm in book three of the Psalms.

Brudenoff’s safety rested on the tender mercies of God

Our guest speaker gave us some background information and challenged us regarding our work for the next year.  He was not a big man, but he was bold.  His name, Alexei Brudenoff, the Director for Special Education for Russia.  At the conclusion of his lecture, they opened the floor to ask questions of Mr. Brudenoff.  The very first question was “Mr. Brudenoff, are you safe in Russia?”

The Russian translator stopped, looked at his Russian friend for whom he translated the question, and then looked directly at the English audience to whom he was translating. His eyes filled with tears, his lined face softened into a look of awesome kindness, his head nodded understandingly at the question and he waited for the answer from Mr. Brudenoff.

They both stood before us, holding deep within themselves, the conviction that they were resting on the absolute faithfulness of their Holy God of mercy. This conviction grew powerfully during the seven years that they had known Jesus Christ as their Savior. The circumstances, in which they had been living, required them to rely on the faithfulness and sovereignty of their great God alone.

What must it be like to stand before the Duma, in the House of Parliament, looking into the eyes of dozens of the leaders of Russia, knowing that God, in whom you trust, is totally unknown to them? Not just unknown, but vehemently rejected and opposed. The men of the Parliament, trained thoroughly with the conviction that there is no God, were hearing from their Russian colleague that God did indeed exist, and was sending His workers into Russia at the invitation of Mr. Brudenoff.  He, as the Director of Special Education for Russia, invited God’s workers back into the classrooms of Russia.

It was the same kind of bravery that was resident in…

Moses and Aaron standing before Pharaoh and his magicians, or

Joshua and Caleb before the unruly desert mob of Israelites, or

Elijah as the Ambassador of God before King Ahab of Israel, or

Daniel when he prayed to his God, knowing he was being watched, or

Peter and the apostles standing before religious leaders of their day, or

Paul and Silas being dragged through the streets toward prison, or

Jesus facing His cross at Calvary.

I stood directly in front of Alexei Brudenoff, looking into his eyes as the question “are you safe in Russia?” was translated.  A peculiar twinkle came into his eyes, and a confident smile appeared on his face before the translation was finished. He had heard the question in English, and his answer did not need time to be brought out of the deep recesses of his mind.  It was a ready answer, one that sparkled in his eyes. He knew that his safety was not dependent on the Russian Parliament or the military. It was not in his power upon which he was trusting but his confidence in a powerful, loving, saving, awesome God and he answered the question in clearly understandable English;

“Yes, we are safe!”

That was all there was too it. No debate, no hesitation.  He was simply trusting in His God of the Bible, whose faithfulness and presence were all and more that he needed.

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite

This is what the writer of Psalm 89 expressed. The realization of the Psalmist was that the LORD (Yahweh) was the ruling power over all things. He was Yahweh, who had made a covenant with David. It was a covenant guaranteed by Yahweh Himself (Psalm 89:1-4). Yahweh’s Loyal Love is extolled repeatedly (89:2, 14, 24, 28, 33, and 49). Not only is Yahweh’s Loyal Love referred to in relation to the covenant, His faithfulness to fulfill His promise is entwined in His Loyal Love in verses 2, 5, 8, and 33.

O LORD, l know Your loyal love (vs. 1),

The Duma

And Your faithfulness (vs. l),

Your covenant (vs. 3),

Your wonders (vs. 5),

Your mighty arm (vs. l0),

Your heavens (vs. 11),

Your world (vs. 11),

Your creation (vs. l2),

Your name (vss. 12 & 16),

Your strong arm (vs. l3),

Your right hand (vs. 13),

Your throne (vs. l4),

Your countenance (vs. l5),

Your righteousness (vs. l6),

Your glory (vs. 17),

Your favor (vs|. 17),

Your godly ones (vs. 19),

Your anointed (vs. 51)

Therefore, with the psalmist we say,      

Yahweh, You are praised (vs. 5),

You are incomparable (vs. 6),

You are greatly feared (vs. 7),

You are awesome (vs. 7),

You are mighty (vs. 8),

You are the ruler (vs. 9),

You are powerful (vs. l0),

You are strong (vs. 12).

 

So, Alexei, are you safe?

Yes, quite safe, thank you! And

“Blessed be the LORD forevermore!

       Amen and Amen.” (vs. 52)

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