The Headlines from the New York Times, January 30, 2017
1. Travelers Stranded and Protests Swell Over Trump Order – The ban on immigration from Muslim countries and related stories dominated the news this weekend.
2. Growing Number of G.O.P. Lawmakers Criticize Trump’s Refugee Policy – Some Republican leaders criticized President Trump’s immigration declaration. For example, Senator John McCain stated that the ban on Muslims might provide a recruiting tool for the Islamic State.
3. Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration: What We Know and What We Don’t – At this point, there is considerable confusion about what to do with President Trump’s order on immigration.
Reading from Isaiah 2.6-11 on January 30, 2017
The entire second chapter of Isaiah presents a picture of a nation who has exalted human leadership to such an extent that it cannot hear from God. Isaiah 2.7-8 summarizes the situation.
Isaiah 2.7-8 – Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their own fingers have made.
When Isaiah gave this prophesy Israel had known several years of peace and prosperity. They had become complacent and proud, no longer depending on God. Isaiah delivers God’s word that recognizes their prosperity, but also reveals how they have in a practical sense eliminated God from their lives.
If Isaiah had given the news media of his day “talking points,” they very well may have been these.
1. We cannot continue to live in rebellion against God and somehow expect good results.
2. What is the cause of our trouble? It is the exaltation of human leaders and not a humble trust in the leadership of God.
3. The question the nation faced was to either listen to God or listen to people who did not trust God, but who rather relied on their own resources.
Idols can take many forms, but ultimately they are substitutes for God. Whenever we attempt to secure life, prosperity and protection on our own terms, apart from God, we are worshiping an idol. It may be that the idol is nothing more than our own self-will, but it is without a doubt a very poor substitute for trusting the leadership of God.
Prayer for January 30, 2017
Dear God, we who are praying the newspaper today confess our need of you. We confess that we cannot live in rebellion and expect good results. Please help us pray-ers to align our lives with your will. You have created us to live in an intimate relationship with you. May we respond to this tremendous offer to live connected with you in a personal relationship.
You are the wisest Being of all. We are foolish if we don’t accept your leadership and direction. It is a profound perversion of our beliefs if we claim to be your friends and yet only follow the desires of our self-will. Help us to humble ourselves and silence our opinions before you and learn from you.
May the leaders of our country and leaders throughout the world hear from you. You have every ability to communicate your direction to them. We ask that you speak to them in a manner in which they can hear.
Thank you for your mercy. We pray for your grace and mercy to rule our hearts and lives today.
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