SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Today’s journal comes from reading Isaiah 56.
“For the leaders of My people–the Lord’s watchmen, His shepherds–are blind and ignorant. They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming. Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied. They are ignorant shepherds, all following their own path and intent on personal gain. –Isaiah 56:10-11
God’s leaders are to be shepherds who protect the flock from danger. They should warn and sound the alarm. God’s leaders play a vital role, but these leaders were failing. They are called blind, ignorant, and greedy, following their own path and intent on personal greed. They’re even referred to as “dogs” twice — an incredible insult.
I am one of God’s leaders–a watchmen who must warn people of danger and a shepherd who must protect the flock. Woe unto me if I remain silent or just look out for my personal gain. And yet, this rebuke can be applied to so many Christian leaders today. They don’t warn; they refuse to engage in any conversation or preach on any issue that might offend. They fear men more than God and are more concerned with weekly attendance and offerings than they are with the holiness of the people of God. I mustn’t be like this, and I must also have the courage to rebuke other leaders who are like this.
Oh, God, Your church lies devastated and ravaged because Your watchmen are silent, fearing men and failing to warn Your people of the sin which is entangling them. So many fear men; so few fear God. So many see their provision as coming from men rather than from You.
Father, protect me from ever falling into these traps. Help me to faithfully warn the people and to open their eyes to the dangers surrounding us. And I pray for my fellow leaders to have courage and faith to speak Your words with full conviction and no partiality.
All this I ask for Your glory,