In the Word of God are treasures for soul, mind and body
REV. RUBY ANN DARLING
Published: Oct 24, 2013
O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. – Isaiah 12:1
There are many parents and children who, for many years have not spoken to each other. In some cases, death or the Grim Reaper has taken them from time into eternity, without a time for forgiveness and reconciliation.
At one point, someone told me that they had not spoken to their mother in more years than fingers on their right hand, but the time came for a joyful reunion, and never a week passes without a meaningful visit and provisions of one sort or the other.
I have no doubt nor do I bear any prejudices, but show me one who at some time or another has not gone contrary to God’s Law and as such caused Him to become angry with us. How many times do children cause parents’ anger to rise to the point that they frustratingly shout out the familiar phrase, “If I had the will of you I would.” Yet as soon as the pain subsides, the child becomes “my little prince or princess” and the love and bond becomes stronger.
A woman once told me that her husband was not keeping up to his responsibilities as father and head of the home; but she said that he was not abusive and straying. I told her that if her request to God was made for him to change into the husband she would like him to be, God would grant it according to her belief. She said, “Ms. Darling, he ain’t good enough to keep, but he too good to throw away.” Today that family is as the song goes, with God in the family we are happy as can be.
Isaiah was a powerful, bold and visionary prophet. He was not in the running for being the most popular, flamboyant or able to draw the most listeners, but he told it to the people like it was.
One writer puts it this way: On a national holiday the prophet saw the herds of animals being brought for sacrifice, then stood up in his role of teacher. He identified the congregation with the ancient people from Sodom and Gomorrah. His listeners stood in stunned silence. Were they really Sodomites? The prophet followed with a question that seemed to be rather dumb in the setting of religious festival: “Why are you sacrificing?” They responded: Moses told us to. The prophet shocked them further: God says in effect, I’m full up to here; I can’t stuff another bite down my throat.
The prophet had a new teaching, a new law: no more offerings, no more festivals, no more prayers. Did Isaiah want to close the doors of the temple? No! He wanted to set priorities straight. Worship must not shield people from God’s claim upon their lives. Gifts cannot replace personal action. Ritual does not rectify. Sacrifice does not substitute for service. Justice must be provided for all people before the jury allows the temple doors to open. Then ritual can be in response to the riches of God, our redeemer.
Our Heavenly Father as our creator and mindful of the fall, has made provision through his son Jesus Christ, for us not to go through rituals because it is the custom to do so, kill lambs and goats for sacrifice upon the altar, but when we sing chants, introits, hymns, anthems, offer up prayers and piously greet others in the name of peace, we do so with the love of God in our hearts rather than only do so as men-pleasers and form and fashion.
Much has been said and debated about the low educational grade of D. Criticism is coming in from all quarters as to who is to blame for all these “dumb” students. But when we look at all the crime, teenage pregnancy, dysfunctional families, drug abuse, low standards of living, dirty streets, seductive dressing, of how we have made His House everything else than a house of prayer and worship, and turned our backs on Him, then we should not be surprised when His anger is poured upon us.
However, God’s grace and mercy is able to bring us back into harmony and communion with him. No, there is no form to fill out, no essay to submit, and definitely no ad valorem or VAT to contend with as deadlines loom upon us, but believe in the words of our text, “O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou confortedst me. Behold God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song: he also is become my salvation.”
Therefore with joy shall you draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall you say, praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done excellent things. This is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion, for great is the holy one of Israel in the midst of thee.
The word of God is still for the people of God and in it are treasures for soul, mind and body.
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