Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Word for Wednesday, 3 June Edition

Sorry if this is getting repetitious. Isaiah's a long book; I'm slow; and I'm also compulsive enough that Isaiah will remain the source until I run out of Isaiah. (Which could be months!) That said, Isaiah chapter 10, the first five verses:
Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and to rob the poor of My people of their rights, in order that widows may be their spoil, and that they may plunder the orphans. Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help? And where will you leave your wealth? Nothing remains but to crouch among the captives or fall among the slain. In spite of all this His anger does not turn away, and His hand is still stretched out.
Although I'm too lazy to start looking them up, I'm sure that those who are familiar with the scriptures will recognize the theme of this passage, which it shares with many other passages in both testaments. God hates injustice, and He particularly hates it when it is directed toward those whose weakness makes them especially vulnerable to injustice: the widows and orphans, and the needy in general. The "devastation which will come from afar" is discussed in more detail in the remainder of this chapter, which reminds us that God sometimes chooses to punish those who are supposed to be His people by sending heathens to overrun them; this does not make those heathens righteous, but instead makes them unwitting instruments of God's wrath. The straightforward lesson for the church that I would take from this is: If you find yourself suffering at unbelieving hands, ask yourselves: how have we been dealing with the weak and vulnerable -- the widows and orphans -- lately? Have we been continuing the work of Jesus? Or indulging our own flesh?

As always, click here for more Words for Wednesday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we need Isaiah for months. I've been thinking about injustice for at least that long.

As for our churches, I would make your question a little more specific: Has your money been going to support the pastor and the building? Or has it gone to the needy who live next door? I confess I get furious when I see Christians "ministering" to the needy by directing them to various government agencies. Is that what Jesus intended?