Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.     ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Greetings and salutations, with much peace and LOVE, on this wet and dreary looking Thursday autumn morn my faithful brethren in Christ! Yes, that’s somewhat of a mouthful, (smile) but it comes sincerely from the heart, as we continue this most unpredictable and unexpected year of 2020. And re one of my usual musings, we’ve already reached the midpoint of October which just began the other day. (smile) 

Oh boy, although this year has been somewhat topsy-turvy, confusing and rather challenging, it has also passed rather quickly – at least in my humble opinion. That’s possibly because I’m not suffering as much as many people, who can’t find work, food nor money and are having a rather rough time of it all. Ah friends, for those of us who are having it fairly safe and comfortable, it behooves us to try and help the many who are not, who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their lives because of this seemingly unsolvable pandemic. 

This is the time when the church of Christ must step up, step forward and show the true colours of our Lord and Saviour. We possibly won’t have a better opportunity than this time to show the world what Christ is really about – in action, not just in words; LOVE and caring for both friend and stranger, grace and mercy, helping each other, praying for each other, sacrificing for each other, welcoming each other, where possible, with open arms, and encouraging each other to stand strong in faith in these turbulent times that seem to have no foreseeable end in sight. 

But that’s why we’re believers, our faith in Christ Jesus assures us that there will be an eventual end, and that we will come out good, even stronger on the other side; strong and more faithful than ever! And that’s what we have to try and encourage in all those with whom we come into contact – whether it’s by snail mail, e-mail, text-messaging, telephone or in person – that this Covid -19 business and the societal upheaval in general will not last forever, but if we get back to our roots, get back to the Father and Creator of all; the One who sent His Son to die for us while we were yet strangers and sinners, then our current sorry plight will definitely improve. 

But until we do that, we’ll keep on having disastrous times. Hear this scripture from Isaiah on the topic of national corruption and consequent suffering nuh. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened. That it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (cause much bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble, evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is. 59:1-4) 

Yeh friends, Isaiah was telling his people that the Lord’s hand was not yet beyond the reach of salvation for their abominable sins, which He laid out in more detail in the ongoing verses of the chapter. However, at the very end of that chapter He made this promise. ‘And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever.’ (Is.20-21) 

But yuh know what, even though the Almighty kept His promise, and made it so much easier for us to receive salvation through the sacrifice of his Son Jesus Christ, we have fallen into the same well of evil in which the Israelites found themselves so long ago. Yeh, without a doubt, our current society is a reflection of that bygone one, and even worse than that, since we are purposely trying to turf God out of our society, and blatantly lording our sins and sinful behaviour over Him. 

But the Lord God Jehovah is still merciful and graceful and long-suffering, and the same thing He told the Israelites way back then, is what He’s also trying to tell us now: it is not too late to turn from our evil ways, though our sins separate us from His presence. But in our proud, stubborn and know-it-all state, we refuse to listen and persist in our sinful, iniquitous ways. Remember all those times Israel departed from God and the tough circumstances they then found themselves in? Now why would it be any different with us eh? 

But the wise thing about Israel is that they eventually remembered where their bread was buttered, woke up and returned to worshipping the Lord…and He took them back with opened arms and healed their land. It’s the same offer He’s making to us today my people; return to my fold and I will forgive and heal you. But no, we seem too proud and haughty, too big for our britches to admit our failure, our wrongdoing and give up our worldly passions and desires. Therefore ‘sufferation’ will continue. 

And it’s not so much the Lord’s doing nuh, but mostly our own ignorance and pride. Take a look at the pandemic; the only things we have right now to lessen the slaughter are physical distancing, wearing masks and washing hands, but we refuse to adhere to those simple protocols, while we watch unnecessary deaths consequently proliferate. Is that the action of a wise society? I very much doubt it. 

Anyway, enough preaching for today. (smile) People of God, let’s go home now declaring (yeahh!) our Thursday Blessings which the Lord has so magnanimously bestowed on us so that we can perform His blessed work down here on earth. All together now, in strong voice, with sincere hearts: 

‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’  

Now let us go out, or stay in, whichever is safer and more practical, and share those blessings with others, just as generously as the Lord shared them with us. That’s our bounden duty! Much LOVE!

…true wisdom…following the guidance of the Holy Spirit…not the lustful, fleshly desires of the evil one… 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 27 March 2020 Isaiah 59:2.

Isaiah 59:2.    ​But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

 

As the Genius – Ray Charles, would sing: ‘Here we go again. Another day of Coronavirus lockdown again… Wonder when this live play, this serious tragedy, will end? Oh, by the minute, it just seems to be getting worse…No light at the end of the tunnel yet!’ Ah friends, it is indeed a pretty rough and serious situation, but please remember that we worship the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Creator and Controller of the universe! And He has promised us that we should not fear, for anything that comes against us, He will be right there to guide, lead and accompany us through it. 

Remember these awesome words of promise declared through His prophet, Isaiah. ‘But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon (scorch) thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.’ (Is.43:1-3) 

Yes friends, though Israel deliberately rejected the Lord as their king, He yet reassured them of His eventual redemption from earthly spiritual and physical bondage, as well as that to come in eternity. And He has kept His promise to one and all, including we, the Gentiles, by sending His one and only Son Jesus to die for our sins and redeem us. But as it was from the day our forefathers sinned in the Garden of Eden and listened to the voice of the evil serpent, sin has separated us from our Holy God. And sometimes, when we get so sinful and corrupt on a national, and like now, a worldwide basis, the Lord has to remind us of our very unbecoming behaviour, which He won’t tolerate forever. 

Listen to His words to Israel, through Isaiah again. ‘Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood (bloodshed), and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity (empty words), and speak lies; they conceive mischief (trouble or evil), and bring forth iniquity.’ (Is.59:1-4) 

Oh my people, just like the Israelites sins separated them from God, so do ours right now! And there’s no one around, and in their right mind who can truthfully say that our world is currently not a sinful cesspit; possibly the most sinful it’s ever been! And I don’t know why we think that other sinful societies suffered the Lord’s wrath, but we will not. And it’s amazing how the Lord could point out our iniquity through such a small and yet very dangerous germ. His ways of working are indeed very mysterious…but also very productive! (smile) 

And it’s good to see that people are taking it seriously and are remembering that God is still on His throne, still controlling things, and at least trying to turn back to Him. Enough preaching for the day though. (smile) It’s Friday, so let’s hear what the ordinary workingman has to say. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday oui! Thank God for the Coronavirus yes…! Well not really, except for the fact that it’s my second week off work with pay, and that’s nice. But you can only take your family being always around you for just so long, then everybody begins to get on everybody else’s nerves. And you can only go around the block so often in a day. 

Steups! I’m getting stir crazy! And ah have to laugh too, because I’m actually missing work and my buddies down there. Chuh! I can only drink so much by mihself too! And the wife has definitely gone stir crazy, since she’s not accustomed to having all of us underfoot the whole bloody day, every day! And to make matters worse, all you can hear on the radio and tv and social media is about the virus; how so many people have it, and how it killing so many people. And we still don’t have no real way to fight it. No wonder people panicking! But what can I say or do in my li’l corner eh? Nothing but thank God for Fridays and weekends yes, and hope they find a cure soon!’ 

Ah friends, I’m sure a lot of people feel useless like the ordinary workingman there, but we all are useful in these trying times. And the first and most important use we can put ourselves to is that of prayer. And then if we can help anybody else in whatever safe shape or form, then please do so. And since it’s Friday, let’s chant our rejigged Friday Chant in answer to the workingman’s song. All together now, with strong voices and sincere hearts: 

‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through this past week. As usual, it’s been kinda rough, but a different kind of roughness than normal. All this confusion with the Covid -19 virus and the monumental storm and the seemingly unending havoc it bringing…we not accustomed to that Lord. But with your omnipotent help, and our trusting faith, we know that we can stand strong and steadfast and defeat this virus. 

So Lord, we sincerely ask you today to give the governments and those involved in the forefront of this serious and unexpected storm, the sure and wise guidance to handle the situation properly, with the  least amount of loss to life and property as possible. And please use this situation to also bring a lot of backsliders back to your fold, and also introduce a whole new flock, who will embrace your LOVE and compassion because of the way we, your faithful believers, handle the situation. Yes Lord, please use this pandemic as a means of restoring faith in You, so that our sinful world can wake up and smell the coffee, sweet and strong! We pray this in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Amen!’ 

Now, let’s put our faith into action, as Jesus so desperately desires of us. Much LOVE!

…pray without ceasing…and remember…to give thanks too…