Isaiah 30:8–13 (read online ⧉)
Hearing the truth about ourselves is often uncomfortable. We like to hear good stuff, but do our best to avoid that feels bad, or might cause us to look at ourselves badly. We are not alone. When Isaiah is sent to confront the Israelites with a bad report, you can imagine how well it was received.
Who wants to be called a rebellious child, except for those who take pride in being rebelling. Rare is the person who wants to be called deceptive. Yet rebellion and deception can often be attributed to ourselves. It never feels good to confront it. The reality is that rebellion and deception often go hand-in-hand. Where we can lose a little bit of the meaning is that sometimes the deceiving is of ourselves, leading us into a life or choice of rebellion. That’s where the words in Isaiah go. People didn’t want to hear the truth. They want to be lied to rather than having to deal with the truth.
In the current separated world that is the “United” States of America, there are many prophetic voices speaking out with the heart of Jesus Christ. However, even they have become blind. Whole swaths of people are challenged for a single point of politics or policy, while their own politics or policy have their own parts that are not in line with Jesus Christ. In many respects, the Israelites had it easy.
Christians are called to love, starting with one another. Yet, what is love? How is loved lived out? In fact, our understanding of love may very well affect the love of Jesus Christ that comes from us. That is potentially the biggest problem of all. People can disagree on the right (and Christian) way to help a person get out of poverty (for example). Their perspectives may be very different. That doesn’t mean that one is right and one is wrong. Our world is very much playing the zero-sum game. In other words, somebody loses. All too often, Jesus Christ gets lost in the mix and noise.
The church and its people must begin to focus on Jesus Christ. That’s obvious, you may say, but it really isn’t. If you love Jesus Christ, you can’t support (some person). That’s the way things are currently going. We no longer show grace and love to those of different politics. We’ve lost our first love.
1) Think of your least favorite politician. Can you say, I love you (their name)? Do you think Jesus can?
2) Redemption and love flow through the Scriptures. How should that affect our view of ourselves? How should that affect our views of others?
3) Why is it important that politics can play a useful role in expanding the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth? What is the (ongoing) danger with that same thing?