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As we look at the state of our nation today it can make the righteous heart sick. Moses warned us what would happen if we rejected the Words of the Lord as our guidebook for families and governments. He warned,
“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes (civil laws) which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee…”
And yet He promises that His Word will still work if we return and do what it says once again. He promises,
“And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou…shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey His voice according to all that I command thee this day…with all thine heart…That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.”
If we listen to His Word, and return to Him with the whole heart, He will forgive and restore us and our land. This means more than just doing the external rituals of the Christian faith. We must have a heart change which wants Him and His will more than the approval of our friends!
The greatest evidence of this kind of heart change will be our desire to read and obey His Word. Religious rituals like fasting and church meetings are not all that God wants from us. He spoke through the prophet Isaiah and told us what is required to see Him return again to rebuild this nation (or any nation) with His order. Isaiah 58 records these requirements. Note that these are commands to HIS people, not the world. He instructs us to:
“…loose the bands of wickedness…undo the heavy burdens…let the oppressed go free…break every yoke…”
We “loose the bands of wickedness” when we free lost people to come to Christ by our “warfare” praying for them, and then share the Scripture with them concerning God’s plan for their lives and how Christ died and rose again to free them from their rebellion against God. (Note Genesis 1:26; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 1:15; Romans 5:8; Romans 10:9-10, 13)
We “undo the heavy burdens” when we, first, pray for “the God of all comfort” to comfort those who are hurting and, secondly, we “bear one another’s burdens”. In other words, we do what He leads us to do to get under that heavy burden with them and help them walk through the pain they’re experiencing right then.
We “let the oppressed go free” when we relieve them of pressure that’s pushing them down in life. This word, “oppressed”, has particular reference to the pressure created by unBiblical government. Thus, part of the service God wants from His people is to vote and work in government for civil laws that promote the liberty which the Bible teaches each citizen should have—simply because they are created in God’s image.
We “break every yoke” when we help people get free of satan’s bondage: whether that be because of their own sin, or because of oppressive government by others. In either case, we must pray against the “powers of darkness” and share with these oppressed ones the truth of God until they see themselves as God sees them. Only then will we “break every yoke” that is keeping them from becoming what God created them to be.
We’ll continue to look at this passage next time. For now we just need to know that, if we do what God says in Isaiah 58, God will raise His people up in our nation to:
“… [Re] build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.”
Will you choose to let God make you into one of those who rebuild the “foundations” of righteousness in this nation? Will you help your children to do it?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson; this has been Think About It.