By Guy Anthony
July 25, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10
If Ulysses S. Grant were alive today, I am certain he would be in the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement. After showing strong and decisive leadership as a Union general in the Civil War, he continued to command Union troops after the war in what was effectively an occupation of the former southern states. His efforts to secure safety and equal rights for former slaves made a difference then, and he continued to advance social justice policies for the eight years of his presidency. Only later, when martial law was relaxed in the south, did those states begin to re-instate the oppression that is alive and well even today.
Grant understood justice, but why is the arc of history so bent to injustice? Grant imposed the “law” in the south, but as Paul points out in today’s Romans passage, no human-based law has the power to transform the human heart towards justice. Paul instead describes a spirit-based law: “for the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
How could we even begin, as believers, to see this sort of transformation in ourselves and in our church? Today’s Chronicles passage is filled with “nuggets” of wisdom from Solomon in this area. What most impressed me was Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple. He prays that the temple will become the national center for effective prayer. He even prays that foreigners’ prayers at the temple would be answered. God’s answer: “…if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn away from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Are we willing to even consider this commitment of prayer, and to have faith that God will answer it?
Lest we hesitate in trusting God’s power, read today’s Psalms passage several times. Meditate on how “the Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer”. (Psalm 18:2)
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
— Romans 7:24-5
Prayer to start with: Father give me the strength and courage to seek your face continually, to pray with more passion than ever and to trust you for the transformation of my heart. Amen