This week’s article is written by Dan Nickel, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
History is littered with the wreckage of countries and individuals who chose to be indifferent to God and suffered the consequences. Here is a question we need to ask ourselves: Is it a coincidence that our country’s current difficulties have occurred while indifference toward the Almighty God has increased?
Isaiah 58 is addressed to Israel after it had returned from the Babylonian exile. After their return, there was disappointment about the country’s circumstances and the difficult living conditions people were experiencing. Isaiah promised that the frustration regarding current conditions of life would dissipate when people start living within the will of God. God will then satisfy all of their needs.
God reminds us that when life seems disjointed, and we desire a renewal of our soul, we need to make changes from within ourselves and offer our time, love and support to others who are also experiencing tough times.
In Isaiah 58 9:12, God reminds us that we need to fix our social conditions and our social practices first and then renewal occurs:
“If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places.”
Our healing, renewal, and hope we desire for our “shadowed lives” will begin when we help alleviate our fellow citizens’ hardships through our charitable actions.