If you are a fan of action, crime, or drama movies, you may have noticed that you almost always find yourself “hoping” for the success of someone who is correcting, preventing, or avenging an injustice. The injustice is not always perpetrated intentionally or even carried out by the “bad” people in the movie, but God put within us the ability to recognize when things don’t align with his holiness. Hollywood plays on this by using empathy to create emotion as we connect with the downtrodden or oppressed in the plots. It allows them to make their story lines unique, interesting, and even unpredictable while at the same time results in a revelation of our creation in the image of God.
In Isaiah’s day, things were no different. At least four times in today’s passage, there is a call for justice by the people. The people felt that they were the brunt of unjust actions on the parts of leaders or other nations and were asking God to help. Isaiah 58:2 says “They ask Me for just decisions. They delight in the nearness of God” and Isaiah 59:11 says, “We hope for justice, but there is none, for salvation, but it is far from us.”
No doubt, their society was rife with injustice, but God sees a different angle. His response through Isaiah shows that their hearts and their actions were in different places. While they worshipped God through their prayers and their feasts, God called them to add action to their reverence. God wants his people to partner with him to set the oppressed free, break every yoke, share sustenance and shelter, and help clothe the poor while still taking care of your own family’s needs. (Isaiah 58:6,7)
So, while we inherited a God-given hatred of injustice, we are to work to remove the injustice at the same time, not accepting some degree of it for our comfort and good. His conclusion is embodied in Isaiah 58:11.
And the LORD will continually guide you,
And satisfy your desire in scorched places,
And give strength to your bones;
And you will be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
Husband ; Dad; Elder; Geophysicist; Student; Hunter; Organ transplant survivor; Volunteer Coordinator for EMI