“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Rev.11:3
In scripture, the Jews wore sackcloth and ashes to proclaim the mourning of their souls, whether for the death of a loved one or, as the prophets did, to mourn sin and coming judgment as they called the people to repentance.
All too often, our nation’s clothing has been the sackcloth of mourning. Sunday’s massacre lengthens the trail of tears of our people. As we pray and mourn for those in Texas, may we open our eyes to the sin sickness running rampant in our country, the good being spoken of as evil and the evil as good, and pick up our sackcloth and pray for repentance and righteousness to reign in our lives and our nation.
It is time for the children of God to, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners: and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10.
What can we do to see this kind of thing end? Begin with ourselves and pray. It’s too easy to look from a distance on a tragedy like this and conclude sin is the culprit. Which it is. But then we go about our merry lives, until the evil comes to our house. It is time we arm ourselves with the sword of the Lord, which is His word, and bear the breastplate of righteousness in our lives and shine forth the glory of our risen Lord that others may see and turn to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It will do us no good to pray for others, if we do not begin with a hard look at ourselves as David did in Psalm 51.
“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee….open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.”
God promises to hear the prayers of His children, of the righteous person. Once we know His cleansing, it is time to pray for our nation. 2Chronicles 2:14 is God’s promise to a king. It is good for us today.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
To the families in Texas, know God sees the evil brought against you. He is faithful, will keep you as surely as He holds your loved ones who have loved and served Him. And remember, as they are with the Lord and the Lord is with you, you are not that far apart…just out of sight.
Praying the God of all comfort, comforts you in your pain. May we all mourn for sin so much that it no longer has an appeal to us. May we remember in Christ’s righteousness there is healing for all, the victims, and the perpetrators.