Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The Paper on Tuesday, January 24, 2017
The headlines from the New York Times today are:
Trump Revives Keystone Oil Pipeline That Obama Blocked
Debt Is Projected to Rise by $8.6 Trillion Over 10 Years
Global News: Malnutrition Wiping Out Children in Northern Nigeria, Aid Workers Say
Reading the Prophet Isaiah on January 24, 2017
The verses for today are Isaiah 1.4-9
Isaiah 1.4 – Ah, sinful nation, people laden with iniquity, offspring who do evil, children who deal corruptly, who have forsaken the Lord, who have despised the Holy One of Israel, who are utterly estranged!
The people of God in Isaiah’s day attempted to hold two contradictory positions with regard to God. (a) They sought a relationship with God, and (b) they sought to control their own future, to secure their own prosperity, and oppressed weaker people in the process. Isaiah describes this behavior as sin, iniquity, evil, forsaking the Lord and despising the Holy One of Israel.
Verses 5-9 picture the results of being estranged from God, because of the above two positions with regard to God. Please note, God is not like a small-minded individual who punishes people because he is “having a bad day.” God’s laws function like the law of gravity. The person who jumps from a tall building should not expect to escape the law of gravity unharmed. The nations who forsake God and who create atmospheres of oppression should not expect prosperity to continue unabated. God’s laws are instituted by the wisest Being of all. He knows what works and if we choose another path, it is to our peril.
Verses 5-6 use the disease model. If a country is experiencing disaster after disaster, it should look for a cure, just as a sick person seeks medical help. Verses 7-9 describe the destruction of war. In both instances God’s people should ask: “What are these signs telling us about our spiritual condition? To what extent have we abandoned God and his direction for life.”
Prayer for January 24, 2017
Dear God, we praying people repent for attempting to secure our own prosperity at the expense of others. We repent that we have failed to align our lives with the guidance you have given for generations. We ask that you help us seek a cure for our world by deepening our relationship with you and by coming into alignment with your principles for life.
Please leave a comment or a prayer of your own in the comment section of the blog.