We have been unfaithful to our God …. but in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel.
News of the 16 year old UP student’s suicide last Friday not just caused grief but aroused anger among various communities. They were pointing at the state university’s cold-hearted treatment to the girl, who after failing to meet the P10K tuition fee deadline, was forced to file a leave of absence and surrender her well-loved school ID. Prof Martinez, her adviser, observed that ‘studying was her anchor, her lifesaver, her escape. When it was taken away from her, her life dilemmas sank in’. ‘UP deprived my daughter of her only hope to help us’ her father said. And it was that hopelessness that took her young life.
Even in the Bible, we see our faith heroes not exempt from seemingly hopeless times. Look at their quotable quotes: from Moses ‘It is too heavy for me. Kill me I pray’; from Elijah ‘I have had enough Lord. Take me now’; and from Job and Jonah ‘It is better for me to die than to live’. Indeed, desperate times call for desperate measures. But giving up negates all that God is. It pictures a God who provides not, sees not, cares not. It blames Him for the inequality of life. It denies His power to make miracles and turn lives around. It accuses His promises empty and calls Him a liar. Sure, we don’t actually curse God when our faces hit the wall. Because truth is, most of the time, we haven’t been really calling at all. We are only alone when we choose isolation. And that’s where darkness lies.
In Ezra’s last chapter, guilt haunted all of Judah and they had every reason to succumb to fear. They knew they aroused God’s wrath by marrying pagan wives which was a direct and specific command. History told them exile was next, but Ezra expected the worst. It was in this distress that God used a man Shecaniah to bring light back into his eyes. Like King David, he knew it is better to fall in the hands of an angry God, for His mercy is great. That’s their hope. God’s their hope. In Him there is grace, there is forgiveness, there is future. In Him, there is always a way out. Jesus promised He will provide it. In fact, He even called Himself THE Way. That’s why we shouldn’t give up on life. Instead, let’s give it all – our cares, our troubles, our pains - to Him who cares for us, and our lives, the most.