See what a slut the city has become

“See what a slut the city has become – she who was once so true, she who was just in all her ways.” And as I read those words this morning for the first time, I was more deeply moved than I have been for a long time. The translation was a new one to me. The words were penned two thousand eight hundred years ago or thereabouts. Written by the prophet Isaiah (Isa 1:21) – what relevance could these words possibly have today? Why was I so deeply affected by them?

Two thousand eight hundred years ago the wind of change blew through the whole wide world. The voice of God was heard wherever there were ears to listen. New religious movements were called into being worldwide. And in Israel, prophets heard the voice of God, and spoke His powerful message. “See what a slut the city has become” Jerusalem, the golden – God’s own city. City of justice. The Holy City herself, perverted and corrupt. The wind of change – the voice of God – God doing a new thing. But so long ago.

This England – green and pleasant land that she is. Country of our birth – winner of battles. Now in the sixtieth year after the outbreak of the “War to end all wars.” England the victor. Men fought in those far off days for Christian values, for justice, and for the rights of humankind. England was noted world wide for its laws, and its innate sense of justice. With Christianity came social justice, and England – this England – was a Christian land. A land full of faith in Almighty God. A land full of hope (as well as glory). Today, God speaks. He speaks to the whole wide world. The message He speaks is little different from the one before (and the one before that). God speaks, and where there are ears to hear, and voices to proclaim, His word is spoken. And in many countries far away, his voice is heard by the masses.

England – this England – O England, where is the fervour for your God that you once held high? Where is your faith, and your sense of justice? O England, once faithful and true, have you too become a slut, faithless and fancy-free? Do you too live for the moment, for the hour of pleasure soon to pass? “If you are willing and obedient, you shall live on the fat of the land, but if you refuse and rebel then husks will be your food”. (Isa 1:19-20) The sad fact is that in thousands upon thousands of years, humanity has not changed. Neither for the worse nor for the better. Working with the Lord, humankind is noble and beautiful; we are gods, all of us, and Sons and Daughters of the Most High. Working against God, humankind is savage, and ignoble, capable of the most vile behaviour that ……. I was going to say – “that we can imagine”; I was wrong – the potential for evil that humankind has when working against God is beyond any imagining.

Pray for our land – pray for This England. Pray that she may hear the voice of the Lord. Pray that she may listen and be brought back to the faithfulness she once knew. May God bless you all.

© Barry Drake – 2001

 

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Author: Barry Drake

Retired URC minister. Very involved in Colwick Village and its affairs. In retirement, I have the privilege of being a visiting preacher at a number of churches, and I act as a tutor on groups aimed at deepening spirituality. See: http://www.barrydrake.webspace.virginmedia.com/ Some of my writings are at: http://www.barrydrake.webspace.virginmedia.com/minister/index.html

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