Prayer for the day
All your works praise you, O LORD, and your faithful servants bless you. They make known the glory of your kingdom and speak of your power.
Scripture for the day
As a minister and a missionary, the apostle Paul certainly had his fair share of trouble. Constantly beaten, imprisoned, tortured, shipwrecked, ridiculed, and now, to add insult to injury, abandoned by those who were supposed to be co-workers in Paul’s spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the midst of what may have been some of Paul’s darkest times, the ones he really needed had given up and deserted him to whatever fate awaited him. You can almost read the pain in Paul’s writing as he talks of those who have been loyal through difficulty, contrasting the betrayal he feels from being deserted by workers who should have been dedicated to the work of God to the very end.
In the First Testament, the prophet Jeremiah speaks the words of God to a very similar problem: the people of God have abandoned their love of God, moved away from this God to seek after other pleasures and other gods, and now, when they cry out because of punishment or because of pain or even simply out of a desire to reconnect with this, the true God, they are left to their own devices. God has rightly tired of being abandoned, and though he will never entirely do the same to his people, he certainly has every right to. The people have walked away from the covenant, not simply forgotten, but actively run from the covenant God made with them.
Most of us live with some kind of fear of abandonment or rejection. Most of us believe that it would be better to be dead than to be unloved. Yet we treat our God with the kind of rejection and contempt we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemies.
Lord, have mercy.