Tuesday, November 10th Isaiah 55:6-11

Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:6-11

The oldest sin in the book is the desire to be God. To be the Ruler rather than the ruled, the Creator rather than the creature, the Boss rather than the bossed. To make our own way. To be Masters of the Universe.

We want what we want when we want it. We want the people, places and things around us to work the way we think they ought to work. The AA Big Book says we want to be the Director who runs the show. The Bible says that when they saw that the tree was good for food and a delight to the eyes, they took of its fruit and ate – although they knew full well that God had said not to.

What fuels this desire to be like God? That’s a big question that I’m not sure I can answer. “Sin” doesn’t answer it, “sin” only describes it.

Perhaps it is fear. Fear that we won’t get what we need. Fear that we will fall apart, be forgotten, left out or abandoned. Fear that we will get hurt. So we seek to climb on top of everything that gets in our way and threatens us. If we can control the world we can live without fear that the world can hurt us.

Perhaps it is greed. No matter how much we have, we always have room for more. We can always build another barn!

Perhaps it is pride, that age-old combination of fear and greed. The unwillingness to accept ourselves as we are which drives us to put ourselves on top of everyone and everything else.

I try and picture in my mind what it would have been like to grow up as a little Israelite boy born while my family lived in a refugee camp in Babylon. My parents would have told me stories of Israel’s former prominence and the special place we held in God’s eyes. They would have told stories of God rescuing God’s people from bondage in Egypt and they would have assured and reassured me that God would act again to restore Israel and let us return to Jerusalem to rebuild a life. For fifty years, an entire generation, those promises would have been repeated.

And I, like many little boys, would have wondered – Does God really exist? If God really exists, then why are we suffering like this? If God really loves us, then why did God allow our lives to fall apart? And I would think, “If I were God, I would certainly do things differently than this!”

And God says in response, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways… so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

God says, “Trust me. Don’t run from me. Don’t try to be me. Trust me.”

Let us pray: Gracious Lord, life is full of mystery. We can’t see the end, we sometimes can hardly see far enough in front of us to take the next step on the journey. We want to trust you and your Words. We realize that it is enough to do our part let alone trying to do yours. So, for today, we will let go and let you be God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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