May 9 I Monday
2 Kings 7-9
“This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.”’” —Matthew 3:3
If we could summarize what John the Baptist’s ministry was like, we may liken him to an alarm clock—he was sent to awaken God’s people. But when it comes to alarm clocks, we vary in responses. Some, when the alarm goes off, wake up right away. Others love the snooze button, so when the alarm goes off, they hit the snooze button to buy themselves another 15 minutes. Others simply sleep right through the alarm and do not hear it.
God sent John to awaken His people to something they had been waiting for for hundreds of years—the arrival of the Messiah—and to prepare them to meet with Him. Matthew tells us, “In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near’” (Matthew 3:1-2). In preparing the way, the major theme of John’s message was “repent”. The word “repent” in Greek is metanoia, which means “to change one’s mind, to reform one’s thoughts and frame of mind and feelings toward God, to adjust one’s attitude, thoughts and behaviours concerning the demands of God for right living.”
There are some patterns in our lives that need repentance; some thoughts that need to be reformed, because, if we are honest, all of humanity has the same problem—pride and arrogance. We act like the Creator of the universe should do things our way, as though we have such vast wisdom and knowledge and can counsel Him. We rage against Him as though we know better, and fashion idols in our own image.
Yet, the mystery of the gospel is this: while we are doing all that, God opens His arms to an unholy people and says to us, “Repent, change your mind, change your perspective. Understand who you are and understand who I am and let Me shepherd you. Let Me take you into My arms. Let Me carry you close to My heart. Let Me teach you. Let Me renew your strength. Just let go of your way and put your hope in My way.”
We all need to repent, to think of God correctly and to understand His disposition towards us. When John the Baptist brought this message to his culture, the alarm clock went off loud and clear to his people. But what we notice from Scripture is that some people woke up immediately, confessed their sin and were baptized. Others hit the snooze button— “Ah, I’m just not ready for that yet.” And others slept right through it. Which response describes us today? What are we doing with the alarm?
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for waking me up to my prideful and arrogant ways. I want to repent. Please change my perspective so that I can know You better. Amen!