March 12, 2013 | My Jottings
This is what is speaking to me today. Isaiah 58 from The Message Bible:
“Shout! A full-throated shout!
Hold nothing back—a trumpet-blast shout!
Tell my people what’s wrong with their lives,
face my family Jacob with their sins!
They’re busy, busy, busy at worship,
and love studying all about me.
To all appearances they’re a nation of right-living people—
They ask me, ‘What’s the right thing to do?’
and love having me on their side.
But they also complain,
‘Why do we fast and you don’t look our way?
Why do we humble ourselves and you don’t even notice?’
“Well, here’s why:
“The bottom line on your ‘fast days’ is profit.
You drive your employees much too hard.
You fast, but at the same time you bicker and fight.
You fast, but you swing a mean fist.
The kind of fasting you do
won’t get your prayers off the ground.
Do you think this is the kind of fast day I’m after:
a day to show off humility?
To put on a pious long face
and parade around solemnly in black?
Do you call that fasting,
a fast day that I, God, would like?
“This is the kind of fast day I’m after:
to break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
free the oppressed,
What I’m interested in seeing you do is:
sharing your food with the hungry,
inviting the homeless poor into your homes,
putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad,
being available to your own families.
Do this and the lights will turn on,
and your lives will turn around at once.
Your righteousness will pave your way.
The God of glory will secure your passage.
Then when you pray, God will answer.
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am.’
“If you get rid of unfair practices,
quit blaming victims,
quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
make the community livable again.
“If you watch your step on the Sabbath
and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
Yes! God says so!
* * * * * * *
What’s speaking to you today?
Julie – You sure have a way with words. You have always had a tremendous gift (straight from God) for expression and the written word. This message really resonated with me. There is so much want and suffering in this world. We only have to look at the middle-east to see that things are heading towards the end-of-times. All of the violence and the hatred of Israel. This world is a scary place. Jesus warned us – He warned us all in Revelations that certain events would precede His coming back. All of those who have hatred in their hearts for not just the Jews in Israel, but all Jews feel frustration, rage and anger – and want to share it. It’s a down right shame that we all – including we American’s can’t put aside our petty squabbles and listen to the Lord and do as He commands.
What our heavenly Father wants of us is to lay aside bitterness, anger and hatred towards others. To eliminate anguish and fear from our lives and leave everything to Him. Whenever we feel bitterness and hold onto grudges – it is very likely that we have forgotten who we are. We are all sinners – saved by grace. We are imperfect human beings who are loved by an awesome, righteous, loving, forgiving and perfect God. We also make mistakes. I know I make them all the time and I tell myself to remember that I am flawed, inadequate and deficient, then and only then can I experience true humility. Can I refuse to forgive others and see to their needs when God has graced me with a river of goodness and love? Absolutely not. I am a work in progress and have a very long way to go in my walk. But as I seek His face and his mercy, I must look for the truth and the light via our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the answer to all of my problems and the world’s as well. I pray that all of the people on this beautifully created planet will come to know the Lord’s mercy and that we in turn will grant mercy to others. I need your prayers Julie to help me become a better Christian, man and brother. Please pray for me sister. I pray that God will remove any bitterness and hostility from my life – so that I too may experience His forgiveness and loving kindness. Thank you God for giving the gift of expression, compassion and love to my little sister. You are such a blessing Julie. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing by keeping up this blog.
Thank you Steve. Just to make certain, though, I didn’t write this post…I hope you know that. It’s Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the Bible called The Message. 🙂 Yes, everyone of us needs what you’re saying, and I will pray for you, as I know you pray for me. Thank you for reading Steve…. xxoo
Gosh. That’s wonderful. I love The Message. Thank you Julie xxx
I enjoy The Message too, Ember. I rarely read it on my own, but then I’ll catch an excerpt somewhere and it will hit me with a force, which is what happened with this Isaiah passage. 🙂 xxoo
Speaking to me today too. Thank you Julie.
Thank you for stopping by Jodi… God bless your snowy week! xxoo