Why don’t you hear us, O God?

Why don’t you hear us, O God?

A teacher was speaking. I made a hurried note, because I was driving across rural northern Indiana at the time. “Read Isaiah 58” was all I noted.

So I returned home late last week, opened to Isaiah 58 in the Kindle app on my iPad and began reading. What a great passage. A preacher could easily develop a sermon series from this passage.

I’m going to contemplate this for a while. So, pull out that old Bible and read it to prepare for a few meditations.

Isaiah, speaking God’s words to his people, answers the question I began with. But, to start at the beginning…

“Shout out, do not hold back!

Lift up your voice like a trumpet!

Announce to my people their rebellion,

to the house of Jacob their sins.”

This is God talking to Isaiah. He’s encouraging his prophet to speak. In fact, not just to speak, but to do so dramatically. What is it he is to speak? It’s about how the people have stopped doing the Lord’s will–what the Lord wants.

Before we condemn those people of 2,800 years ago when Isaiah preached, we can think of ourselves.

“Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers” (if you followed “Car Talk” on National Public Radio) talk of the famous “dope slap.” That’s when you’re acting like a dope or said something stupid and somebody (maybe even yourself) slaps you on the side of the face. You dope.

That’s a little crude, but it’s what Isaiah is doing to the people of his nation. He’s saying something like, “Wake up people. You think you are so good, but you’re not. Oh, and here’s why.”

Probably all of us need one of those “dope slaps” every once in a while. Usually just when we think we’re so smart, or so good, or so wise, or so beautiful.

Has someone tried to give you a verbal dope slap recently? Did it wake you up? Or did it miss the mark?

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