The Cause of Justice

“Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows” (Isaiah 1:17).

God spoke through his servant Isaiah concerning the wickedness of his people in Judah. God was angry with them because they rebelled against him and had forsaken His ways. Despite their corruption, the people still brought offerings and sacrifices unto God. God’s response was disgust, because of their contempt for his laws. “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats” (Isaiah 1:11). God did not find their offering and sacrifices pleasing or acceptable.

God also said that he would not listen to them, as they would lift their hands in prayer. This was because their hands were stained with blood and they were unclean before God. “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil” (Isaiah 1:16). God also wanted them to do good, to seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the orphans and plead the cause of the widow. Within the context of the Old Testament, orphans and widows were among some of the most vulnerable. Not all widows in today’s society may experience destitution. The idea is that we should consider the most vulnerable within our society.

Depending on where you live, the vulnerable and destitute may be different social groups. There are orphanages in most countries that provide housing for children. Within your own communities, the vulnerable may be immigrants or particular groups of people. At your work place, there are staff members who are more vulnerable than others based on their positions of power. The church has a role to play in looking after the vulnerable. Ignoring injustice and refusing to get involved because ‘it is none of your business,’ does not please God. There are times when we have the power and resources to get involved and support persons in need.

You may feel the prompting of the Holy, Spirit to speak up for someone who is being bullied or harassed at work. We should teach children to look out for other children who are being isolated in school. The children of the righteous should set an example and befriend the child that is excluded. This can relate to a child who is unpopular due to socio economic deprivation or the child who is unpopular. Our salvation is not limited to going to church on a Sunday to worship and give our offering. What we do in the market place is of major significance, as it is within the darkness where we need to let our light shine.

A.P.-Y.

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