A Rebellious Nation
Posted in Wisdom
Scripture: “Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: ‘I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.’ Woe to the sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”
– Isaiah 1: 2-4
I made a decision a few years ago that I would not offer unsolicited advice to another adult. It took me much longer to realize than I care to admit, but advice given when not wanted is rarely received well. I also seldom discuss my views on politics or the news because the current climate of political “discussion” is none too pleasant. Recently, however, I had to backtrack on this policy because someone I love very much needed to hear something regarding their health and wellness. I love this person too much to not intervene.
For the last several months, I have been consistently surrounded by the words of the Old Testament prophets. Last fall, we wrapped up the Old Testament in Middle School Sunday School, which I have the pleasure of helping teach, and we covered all the prophets. My Small Group is reading through the Bible this year in chronological order, and we have been reading the words of the prophets for months. This week we wrapped up Isaiah and started Jeremiah.
While reading through the scriptures, I felt encouraged by these fascinating prophets. Their stories have been helping me as I struggled with whether to speak to my friend about such a sensitive topic. The prophets spoke God’s Word to the Israelites and did not hold anything back! With the boldness of knowing that they were delivering God’s Word, they faced sinful leaders and wayward citizens. Sometimes these holy men and women were listened to, and their warnings and rebukes would lead entire communities to repent. Other times, they had to run for their lives. Regardless, they all stayed true to delivering God’s message to the people.
I imagine what it must have been like for the prophets. In our modern day and age, I am sure they would have been branded as intolerant, or not loving the Israelites, but I believe that they loved their people so much that they could not keep silent in the face of their sins.
Our faith walk can be the same way. In a sermon, author Tim Keller once said something that really stuck with me. He said, “The opposite of love is not anger, but indifference.”
It would have been easier for me to not confront this person whom I love, but my inaction would have been the most unloving thing I could have done. When I confronted my friend, my words were well received because this person knows I care and that I am here for support.
People who love me have come to me and corrected me in ways that showed how much they care. They would not let me continue down a path that I had managed to justify as non-damaging to my relationship with Christ and other believers. I am grateful for that.
Proverbs 27:17 reminds us, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I hope that one of you will come alongside me and sharpen me when I need it!
Prayer: Gracious God, thank you for giving us the words of the prophets in your Holy Bible. Thank you for sending the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom many prophets foretold would save us from our sinfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Submitted by Kit Pound