Emperor Maurice’s Comfort in Psalm 119:137

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  • There is an illustration from the life of Maurice, a Roman emperor, who found comfort from Psalm 119:137 in an unbelievable crisis. In the preaching moment last night, I passed right by this illustration. And by the time I recognized it, I was too far ahead to go back to get it. But I have been enriched and encouraged by this story and want to share it anyway.

    During the 20 years he ruled the Roman Empire, he had shown virtues, marking him out to succeed Tiberius II. But the army turned against him and in 602 he fled, wit his wife and children, to Chalcedon, to escape the fury of the deformed and disfigured Phoeas. But Maurice did not long remain in safely for by order of Phoeas, he and his 5 sons were seized and executed. He was the last to die. As, one by one, the boys were murdered before his eyes, the noble father cried aloud, with each stroke of the sword, “Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and true is Thy judgment.” – Herbert Lockyer, Psalms: A Devotional Commentary, p. 596

    What a story! Maurice did not accuse God of wrong or deny the truthfulness of God’s word, as he watched his sons die. Rather, he endured these tragic moments by reminding himself from Psalm 119:137 that at that very moment, God was still righteous and his word was still true. And so it is with whatever challenge or crisis you may face today.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.