Our country has erupted in chaos. Everyone agrees that what happened to George Floyd was a terrible tragedy that should not have happened and should never happen again. But what has taken place with these riots is also a heartbreaking disaster for so many and for our nation.
I was asked if I was offended by the President walking out of the White House, which is his back yard, and walking over to St. John’s Church. Offended? Not at all. This made an important statement that what took place the night before in the burning, looting, and vandalism of the nation’s capital—including this historic house of worship—mattered, and that the lawlessness had to end.
And I’m not offended that he held up the Bible—as a matter of fact, I was encouraged! I appreciate it. I believe that God’s Word is the only hope for each individual and for our nation. The problem we are facing in this country is a spiritual and moral problem. New laws and more government give-away programs are not the answer. It’s a heart problem, and only God can change the human heart.
I’m disappointed that some of the President’s harshest critics about going to the church were “clergy.” They have publicly (to the media) criticized the President for walking to the church and for holding up the Bible. That’s unbelievable. They should be thanking him rather than criticizing him! They are nitpicking his gesture, also saying he should have prayed while he was there. So critical. Well, maybe they should invite him back and pray for him as he leads this country through a very difficult time in our history.
I call on all pastors, regardless of denomination, race, or political persuasion, to join hands and join hearts in praying for our nation, that God would give wisdom to our leaders—our mayors, our governors, our President Donald J. Trump, and also our law enforcement. The God of the Bible is our only hope. – Franklin Graham, 3 Jun ’20
My heart is so heavy and burdened for the United States, actually for the world as a whole. I do not know how to fight all of this in the physical, however I do know how to fight in the spirit. I have felt for strongly since the beginning of the week that we are to pray together, particularly in our area.
Hosea 6:1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. 6:2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
Those who have gone from God by consent, and in a body, drawing one another to sin, should, by consent and in a body, return to him, which will be for his glory, and their good. It will be of great use for support under afflictions, and to encourage our repentance, to keep up good thoughts of God, and of his purposes and designs concerning us. Deliverance out of trouble should be to them as life from the dead. God will revive them: the assurance of this should engage them to return to him.
I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
In the title verse the LORD is speaking of this time, now when mass delusion and its resulting fear have taken hold of all the world. The latter part of His statement tells of His rejected warning: advising that the mental state of all, including His people, was such that they had become ignorant of the magnitude of the evil already manipulating and controlling all humanity.
He begins the chapter, Isaiah 66, by declaring Himself separate from and sovereign over these events. He says He will look to those who are poor and of a contrite spirit, who tremble at His word. This is contrasted against those that are blessing idols and who delight in their abominations, of whom He then speaks in the title verse.
Isaiah 26 1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. 2 Open you the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. 3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you. 4 Trust you in the LORD forever: for in the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength: 5 For he brings down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he lays it low; he lays it low, even to the ground; he brings it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. 7 The way of the just is uprightness: you, most upright, do weigh the path of the just. 8 Yea, in the way of your judgments, O LORD, have we waited for you; the desire of our soul is to your name, and to the remembrance of you. 9 With my soul have I desired you in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek you early: for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10 Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. 11 LORD, when your hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of your enemies shall devour them. 12 LORD, you will ordain peace for us: for you also have wrought all our works in us. 13 O LORD our God, other lords beside you have had dominion over us: but by you only will we make mention of your name. 14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore have you visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. 15 You have increased the nation, O LORD, you have increased the nation: you are glorified: you had removed it far unto all the ends of the earth. 16 LORD, in trouble have they visited you, they poured out a prayer when your chastening was upon them. 17 Like as a woman with child, that draws near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and cries out in her pangs; so have we been in your sight, O LORD. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind [instead of new birth they brought forth gas]; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen [into the birth canal]. 19 Your dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in dust: for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourselves as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over-past. 21 For, behold, the LORD comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Where I sit at the moment the skies are overcast and the sun seems to have risen recently even though it is not clearly visible.
About 1,930 years ago, on the first day of the week, it may have been a clear and cloudless sky but for the followers of Jesus of Nazareth it was a very gloomy day. The One whom they had believed to be the promised Messiah had been seized, killed, and entombed. All hope was gone. They were self-isolated in fear. Only doom and gloom lay before them. Then the women came with a strange, very strange, story. The Son is Risen! Glory be to God; He is risen!
The folded napkin in the tomb says, “I’m not finished, I will be back.”
On the cross, Jesus had said, “It is finished,” not “I’m finished.” It was a statement of victory, not defeat. The “Government” quarantined Him and tried to keep Him from violating the “Stay home – stay safe” mandate. He refused.
The Son has risen and it is a beautiful day, a good day to rejoice in the Lord, Jesus the Christ (Messiah). He provides ultimate freedom. Grey skies or blue, it is a beautiful day today because Messiah Jesus lives and the napkin is still folded.