Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Trump Shifts Course on Egypt, Praising Its Authoritarian Leader – Ever since he seized power in a military takeover nearly four years ago, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt has been barred from the White House. But President Trump made clear on Monday that the period of ostracism was over as he hosted Mr. Sisi and pledged unstinting support for the autocratic ruler.
“We agree on so many things,” Mr. Trump said as he sat beside Mr. Sisi in the Oval Office. “I just want to let everybody know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind President el-Sisi. He’s done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. We are very much behind Egypt and the people of Egypt. The United States has, believe me, backing, and we have strong backing.”
In that one moment, Mr. Trump underscored a fundamental shift in American foreign policy since he took office. While his predecessors considered authoritarians like Mr. Sisi to be distasteful and at times shied away from them, Mr. Trump signaled that he sees international relations through a transactional lens. If Egypt can be a partner in the battle against international terrorism, then in Mr. Trump’s calculation, that is more important to the United States than concerns over its brutal suppression of domestic dissent.
Readings from Isaiah 40.3-5 for Tuesday, April 4, 2017
How can comfort be given to a sinful, ruined people? The cause for encouragement is solely the activity of the Lord, his coming into the sphere of human activity. Our only hope is God’s breaking into human history. We cannot help ourselves, and there is no one else, so God himself must come.
John the Baptist used these verses from Isaiah to encourage repentance among his hearers. The way we prepare a super highway for God’s intervention is through repentance. Those who pray the prophets do well to repent – to change their mind and to align their lives with the will of God.
Isaiah 40.3-5 A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Prayers for Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Dear God, we seek to align our lives with your will. We pray to be completely united to your will and to give love and only love in every situation.