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ah, sinful nation!

By Chris Oliver
September 8, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

Isaiah 1:1-2:22
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
Psalm 52:1-9
Proverbs 22:26-27

“Repent, sinner!” This was the message that confronted me at the entrance of every baseball game I frequented during the San Francisco Giants dynasty. I was young, energetic, and full of devotion to God and to my baseball team. Dozens of times a year I passed one of my local prophets and internalized a strange discord of hope and scorn: anticipation of the kingdom of heaven, yet sadness for the state of my city.

The great prophet Isaiah vocalized this very same discord to an exponential degree. Unlike that of a homeless city herald, his words cut straight to the top of the Jewish people. He berates Judah with a scathing list of its transgressions, and foreshadows the corresponding penalty. The Assyrians are coming, and Jerusalem is about to endure its purification.

While I passed by these San Francisco heralds of McCovey Cove, 3rd Street, or Townsend, I would instinctively writhe in disappointment of my fellow believer. “These men have not earned the right to be heard by these home run, garlic fry, orange and black loving heathens,” I thought. Yet without fail, each and every game I was greeted at the gate by my local prophets. Year after year, sin after sin, I became slowly disarmed to my inability to repent. Finally, I learned that since I am a citizen of this sinful nation, I have contributed to its wickedness.

Isaiah knew my heart as much as he knew Judah’s. Thankfully he also knows more of our collective hope. There are such great things in store after our exile, humility, and refinement. We need only recognize on whom that greatness rests. “And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the lofty pride of men shall be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:17) Today, repent with me and pray for our future glory.

To memorize:

I will praise you forever, O God,
for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
in the presence of your faithful people.

— Psalm 52:9

Prayer to start with: Lord, forgive me for my failures.  Give me the strength I need to aid our sinful nation.