DayBreaks for 06/25/13 – An Uncomfortable Truth – No, Not THAT One!
Isaiah 1:11-17 (NLT) – “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting— they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
In his book, The Hole in Our Gospel, Richard Stearns quotes a modern day prophet, perhaps a human being who in our day and age has done more to care for the oppressed, the widows and orphans than anyone else, but the truth is hard to hear:
“Fifteen thousand Africans are dying each day of preventable, treatable diseases – AIDS, malaria, TB – for lack of drugs that we take for granted.
“This statistic alone makes a fool of the idea many of us hold on to very tightly: the idea of equality. What is happening to Africa mocks our pieties, doubts our concern and questions our commitment to the whole concept. Because if we’re honest, there’s no way we could conclude that such mass death day after day would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else. Certainly not North America or Europe, or Japan. An entire continent bursting into flames? Deep down, if we really accept that their lives – African lives – are equal to our, we would all be doing more to put the fire out. It’s an uncomfortable truth.
“We can be the generation that no longer accepts that an accident of latitude determines whether a child lives or dies – but will we be that generation? Will we in the West realize our potential or will we sleep in the comfort of our affluence with apathy and indifference murmuring softly in our ears? Fifteen thousand people dying needlessly every day from AIDS, TB, and malaria. Mothers, fathers, teacher, farmers, nurses, mechanics, children. This is Africa’s crisis. That it’s not on the night news, that we do not treat this as an emergency – that’s our crisis.
“Future generation flipping through these pages will know whether we answered the key question. The evidence will be the world around them. History will be our judge, but what’s written is up to us. We can’t say our generation didn’t know how to do it. We can’t say our generation couldn’t afford it. And we can’t say our generation didn’t have reason to do it. It’s up to us.”
You know what haunts me? The idea that someday I may stand before God and hear Him ask me, “What did you do for those in Africa?”
Oh, the name of the modern day prophet? Bono – lead singer for the band, U2.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to CARE, to LOVE, to GIVE in ways that help and don’t hurt those we are trying to help! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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