God, open my eyes to Your Word today and to any action You might be asking me to take in reference to it.
Read Isaiah 1:21–31
21 See how the faithful city
has become a prostitute!
She once was full of justice;
righteousness used to dwell in her—
but now murderers!
22 Your silver has become dross,
your choice wine is diluted with water.
23 Your rulers are rebels,
partners with thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow’s case does not come before them.
24 Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty,
the Mighty One of Israel, declares:
“Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes
and avenge myself on my enemies.
25 I will turn my hand against you;
I will thoroughly purge away your dross
and remove all your impurities.
26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old,
your rulers as at the beginning.
Afterward you will be called
the City of Righteousness,
the Faithful City.”
27 Zion will be delivered with justice,
her penitent ones with righteousness.
28 But rebels and sinners will both be broken,
and those who forsake the Lord will perish.
29 “You will be ashamed because of the sacred oaks
in which you have delighted;
you will be disgraced because of the gardens
that you have chosen.
30 You will be like an oak with fading leaves,
like a garden without water.
31 The mighty man will become tinder
and his work a spark;
both will burn together,
with no one to quench the fire.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever experienced injustice? A ruling that was untrue, unfair or unjust?
Injustice is pervasive—when it takes root, it spreads like a cancer, affecting everything. Like precious metals where impurity dulls the whole piece, or like a glass of wine diluted by water, unjust leadership threatens the security of the whole nation (21–23).
And it is the poor who are affected. The rich can pay, can get their way, and get even richer. The poor can’t pay, so the widow has no influence, the orphan no defender. Vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation, they lose the little they have—property, freedom, dignity, health, life itself. It is a vicious circle.
The Lord sees the poor, and he turns his judgment on his leaders like a furnace the remedy is fire (25). But this in itself is merciful—an act of mercy to the poor, and an act of restoration and renewal to his leaders. This day of judgment is not one of annihilation but of purification, to bring God’s people back to what they once were and always should have been (26).
Jerusalem was always intended to be an example—a city of justice, righteousness, faithfulness—a benchmark for others to aspire to. Isaiah puts before us a day when this will be so.
Is there someone in difficult circumstances, an elderly neighbor or a struggling mom, whom you might help?
God of Justice, may I see those around me through Your eyes of love. Give me a compassionate heart like Yours.
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