To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him. and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws which he set before us by his servants the prophets. All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. And the curse and oath which are written in the Low of Moses the servant of God have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against him. He has confirmed his words which he spoke against us and against our rulers who ruled us, by bringing upon us a great calamity. For under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what has been done against Jerusalem
Shame is something which seems to be conspicuously absent from those who are elected to govern us, as we appear to be in an endless round of sleaze at all levels of government and officialdom and this has even entered the Royal Family.
This lack of shame is not restricted to those in the public eye for we are all guilty when we take sin lightly. When we exalt ourselves above God and leave him out of our lives. For these things we should be ashamed.
When challenged on wrongdoing, self-defence is the first reaction and every effort is made to wriggle and excuse behaviour which in the sight of God is simply sin. This is because there is little or no sense of God in our land.
Cop26 which we have touched on previously, exemplifies this as the theme seems to be:
‘W e’ve got the whole world in our hands’
Which in its original form, as you surely know, was rather different
‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’
Once that hubristic belief is enshrined at the highest levels in the land we are surely heading for disaster.
For God’s chosen people (note that is what they were) the disaster was 70 years of captivity in Babylon and, but for the fact that,
‘To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness’
that would and should have been the end of that special relationship but God, is the covenant keeping God. This is confirmed, in a counter-intuitive way, in his bringing punishment on his people which he said he would do, while at the same time, remembering the positive side of his covenant to restore them, a restoration following confession and humbling and returning to him.
How does that play out in the world in which we live?
The way the western world in particular (that is the western world which was once profoundly even if imperfectly Christian) has pushed God out, will have consequences which are already being seen as God ‘gives us over’ to that which we have asked for by ignoring him and his commandments. (See Romans 1.18-32)
There is however, a way back and Daniel epitomises it.
Confession and repentance!
Paul tells the Corinthian Church that ‘now is the accepted time, now is day of salvation.’ 2 Corinthians 6.2
God has not yet withdrawn such a day of opportunity, but we presume upon his grace and mercy and patience at our peril.
As believers we have that message of salvation. We must make it known.
So take the opportunity that Cop26 gives as a topic of conversation to share it.
Pray that the Church Leaders of our land will stop trying to be politicians and become evangelists calling people to repentance
Pray that those in Government will realise the inability of man, on his own, to change the world and seek after God.
These things, vital as they are, still mean we have to work to do and probably changes to make in our care of the planet on which God has placed us and which he declared at creation, to be very good.
God is not mocked and rejection of him and his good laws will not ultimately go unpunished.
Pray for God to have mercy on our world, and the western world in particular, which he has so singularly blessed in years past, and pray that he will do so again.