The New York Times on Thursday, January 26, 2017
Trump Blocks Syrian Refugees and Orders Mexican Border Wall to Be Built
As Trump Orders Wall, Mexico’s President Considers Canceling U.S. Trip
The Real Cost of Mr. Trump’s Wall
Reading the Prophet Isaiah on January 26, 2017
The Reading of Isaiah for today is Isaiah 1.22-23.
22 Your silver has become dross, your wine is mixed with water. 23 Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not defend the orphan, and the widow’s cause does not come before them. The comments below are from John N. Oswalt’s Commentary on Isaiah in the New International Commentary series.
The pure has become impure, the precious has become base. The ruling class, society’s “silver,” has become so perverted that they who are to promote order and obedience are themselves rebels. They who are entrusted with responsibility for justice are through their own greed actively promoting injustice.
Isaiah makes a connection between idolatry and social injustice. Social injustice is ultimately the result of refusal to entrust oneself to a fair and loving God. Whenever persons begin to believe that the cosmic order is basically uninterested in human welfare and that those who succeed are those who know best how to capture the cosmic forces for their own purposes (the underlying attitudes of idolatry), the relatively more helpless and vulnerable begin to be crushed.
Prayer for January 26, 2017
Dear God, I remind myself that 1 Peter 4.17, says, “For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God . . .” As I pray for others, I must examine myself in the light of your word. I pray that you reveal to us the extent of our idol worship. We repent for the kind of unbelief that seeks prosperity and security independent of following your direction. We repent for the conviction that we must win, even if it means that vulnerable people lose. Please help us to see how we have forsaken the clear instructions you have given us to love one another just as you have loved us (John 13.34-35).
You tell us in Isaiah that there is hope for us. Please help us to respond positively to your word in Isaiah 1.18-20. 18 Come now, let us argue it out, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
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