Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Hole in Our Gospel: Day 7

As I have been preparing the lesson for Sunday School tomorrow (also over "The Hole in Our Gospel"), I have also reflected on this first week of our six week quest.  There is a passage of scripture that God has managed to put before my face several times over the past few weeks (always a sure sign that I better sit up and pay close attention!), and it is from Isaiah 58.  The people in this passage had been trying to do what they thought they were supposed to do in order to get right with God.  God, however (as He always does), saw through these people's actions and into their hearts and knew their motives were shallow and insincere.  After telling God all they had been doing for Him, including fasting, here is God's response:
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:  to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?  Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?  (vv. 6-7)
Pretty straightforward stuff.  Now hear God's promises that follow that directive:
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.  Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say:  Here am I.  If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.  The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame.  You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.  (vv 8-11)
As Richard Stearns says, "This is a vision of God's people transforming God's world in God's way."

Whose way have I been following:  mine or God's?

1 comment:

MANDIE said...

Just got caught up on your blog today! THanks so much for sharing this with us. Love you.