Pay attention to the real need

Published 5:35 am Friday, June 28, 2013

Every chance that she gets, Madeline likes to play with my cell phone. The other evening, as I sat on the couch with her, she asked to play with my phone, which was fine with me. But as she took it I heard her say in a low tone that Nana would not like for her to have it. I did not think too much about it until I noticed that when Gale started to walk by, Madeline quickly stuffed the phone inside her shirt and covered it up.

I realized that she was hoping that Nana would not be paying attention and she could get by without getting caught with Papa’s phone inside her shirt. Admittedly, her clever little trick worked pretty well! Although she got away with it for the moment, though, the forbidden object was still there!

As a nation we need to pay more attention to a lot of things that we have neglected for too long. Perhaps a Biblical account from centuries past offers some contemporary wisdom.

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The Bible records the interesting story of some hard-hitting events in the life of Job. When we think of Job, we should think of a person who got the attention of both God and Satan because of his righteous life. We also remember him as a man who was wealthy and as a man who went through an exceedingly difficult season. We need to learn from something else about Job: he paid attention to his family.

Job paid attention to what his children were doing, because of his concern that they were possibly involving themselves in activities that were not pleasing to God. Job 1:5 states that “When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom” (New International Version).

Job was a well known and much respected man, so for his children to involve themselves in activities that ran contrary to his faith in God could have given him a legitimate excuse to distance himself from them. However, rather than disowning them, he chose to seek God for their spiritual well being; he was paying attention to the spiritual needs of his children.

As we enter into this season of celebrating our nation’s independence, we would do well to pay attention to the needs of our country. Rather than only complaining about our national needs and concerns, we need to do for our nation what Job did for his children — call out to God asking for His forgiveness and intervention. We need to pay more attention to the direction that our national leaders are leading us in. We need to pay attention to the lack of reliance upon God that is growing in our land.

Our nation has been greatly blessed by God and tremendously used by Him for many years. Now we stand in need of spiritual renewal and it is imperative that we pay attention to what is taking place across our land so that we will become willing to do for our nation what Job did for his children — appealing to God for forgiveness and restoration.