Today’s Scripture Reading (June 26, 2017): Isaiah 50
Pain causes us to do stupid things – and make unwarranted assumptions. If you need proof, I offer you the life of Donald Trump. One of the most influential people on the planet even before he was elected President of the United States, he became President, became isolated and apparently is now a subject of constant internal turmoil and pain. At least, that is the only assumption that I can come to when I look at his social media posts. The most powerful man on the planet is scared and in pain, and that might be a dangerous combination. In his constant Twitter barrage, he is desperately trying to find an audience that will bring a healing balm to his wounds, something that the media refuses to do, and his aides and friends are apparently unable to do. So he fires off the Twitter volleys hoping that his pleas land on the right ears and that he can find the needed response from his base and healing for his soul. Unfortunately, the volleys intended to bring healing are only bringing more pain. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, made this comment to reporters earlier this month. Donald Trump "may be the first president in history to go down because [he] can't stop inappropriately talking about an investigation that, if you just were quiet, would clear you." And some are even arguing that the leaks that Trump is so concerned over might be an unintended effect of the out of control social media use. His public comments have caused pain, not only to himself but also to those around him, alienating many of those that work in Washington and hardening the opposition against him.
In Babylon, social media consisted of gossip from person to person. And in the midst of the exile, the pain was causing some unwarranted assumptions. It was evident, to the exiles, that they had been abandoned by God. This abandonment only served to heighten the agony that they suffered, and contributed to a loss of hope among the exiles. There was no one left who could bring healing; the exiles were on their own.
So God speaks directly to the people through his prophet. You say that I have divorced you, but if that is true, where is the certificate of divorce. You say that I have sold, but to which creditor (or god) do you believe that I have made that transaction. Produce the proof. The truth is that I haven’t sold you, I am pursuing you. You have removed yourself from my presence, and I want you back. Seek me, and you will find me. But your complaints are only serving to widen the gap between us – only carrying you farther and farther away from me. Stop speaking to your neighbor, stop trying to find a human audience to bring you consolation and talk to me. I have never left, nor will I ever leave you.
It might be good advice for President Trump. His social media cries are only widening the gap and increasing his pain and isolation. Yet, God has never left him, or us. It is we who are walking away.
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Isaiah 51