Friday, October 04, 2013

We Did Not Heed the Voice of the Lord

Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi

By Melanie Rigney
“We did not heed the voice of the Lord, our God, in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us, but each one of us went off after the devices of his own wicked heart, served other gods, and did evil in the sight of the Lord, our God.” (Baruch 1:21-22)

Remember not against us the iniquities of the past; may your compassion quickly come to us, for we are brought very low. (Psalms 79:8)

(Jesus said to the seventy-two:) “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)

Lord, You know the spots where I hear but not heed You. Help me to turn back toward the right path, toward You.

Hindsight, as the saying goes, is 20/20.

The exiles knew what they’d done wrong. Baruch may have detailed the sins on the scroll, and Asaph or a member of a guild may have written or transcribed the plea for forgiveness in Psalm 79, but everyone knew they had offended God.

It’s all but certain they knew they were wrong in the moment as well, that evil and wickedness were turning them away from the Lord. But the temporary joys in those moments overrode any thought of eventual judgment.

Before we castigate the exiles for their lack of gratitude and piety, we might consider our own lives and the places we cut corners. Where are we serving the false gods of wealth and power? Where are we hurting others? Where are we injuring ourselves with abuse? In what ways are we focusing on pleasure and gain instead of the Lord’s Word?

Hindsight, as the saying goes, is 20/20.

Read the Israelites’ confession of guilt in Baruch 1:15-22 out loud. Meditate on the similarities with your own life, and pray for forgiveness.

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