Reading from Isaiah on Tuesday, January 31, 2017
On a daily basis, reporters capture heated arguments, protests, Twitter messages, and more as our polarized country fights over solutions to the generally agreed upon problems of our economy, immigration, abortion, etc. Instead of dialogue, we have a war of words over extremely differing solutions. What is a praying person to do in the face of what we are currently experiencing? I strongly feel that we do not need to pray our opinions and political views. What is needed is an ability to humbly hear from God and, then, to pray what we hear.
Followers of my blog will notice that I have moved the readings from Isaiah to the top of the article. Why? The current headlines from newspapers are full of a continuation of the drama that characterized one of the most contentious election cycles our country has ever observed. G. K Chesterton goes to the heart of the problem in his book, “What’s Wrong with the World.” Chesterton was an English writer, poet, philosopher, journalist, orator, and lay theologian who lived from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. In his book Chesterton observes that “the whole difficulty in our public problems is that some men are aiming at cures which other men would regard as maladies; are offering ultimate conditions as states of health which others would uncompromisingly call states of disease.”
In two key Old Testament passages God instructs praying people to leave the noise of the crowd, so they can obtain a knowledge of God’s plans and purposes for the world. Those two passages are below.
Isaiah 62.6 – Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels; all day and all night they shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest.
Ezekiel 22.29-30 – The people of the land have practiced extortion and committed robbery; they have oppressed the poor and needy, and have extorted from the alien without redress. 30 And I sought for anyone among them who would repair the wall and stand in the breach before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.
The Ezekiel passage is particularly tragic. God looked for someone to get on the wall and could not find anyone willing spend the time and effort to do so. Readers of this blog can give our world a valuable gift. We can leave the noise of the crowd, get alone with God, and discover his will. My encouragement is for people to read the Old Testament prophets to discover God’s will and to the pray about them.
Tomorrow, the reading from Isaiah will be chapter two.
The Headlines from the New York Times on Tuesday, January 31, 2017
- Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him – President Trump fired an incumbent from the Obama administration and replaced her with a temporary head, prior to the confirmation of his proposed Attorney General, Mr. Sessions. These actions are the results of choices that have been made concerning President Trump’s immigration ban.
- In Ban on Migrants, Trump Supporters See a Promise Kept – The New York Times reports, “at home, a large portion of the electorate is behind the president. Mr. Trump’s supporters say that the promise of tougher immigration policies is one of the main reasons they voted for him.”
Prayer for January 31, 2017
Dear God, please draw praying people to a place where we can hear from you. May you help us remove ourselves from the noise of the crowd and our own opinions. Please help us to comprehend your purposes and plans for the times in which we live. Then, may we intercede with you on behalf of your will.
Preview of Isaiah Reading for Tomorrow
In tomorrow’s blog post we will return to a systematic reading of the prophet, Isaiah. In chapter two God brings his own people into the courtroom. He tells them that they have the leaders they deserve. They have abandoned God and have glorified human leadership. God’s judgment is that he has given them the result of their own choices.
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