December 22, 2017
READ: Isaiah 11:1-10
He will give justice to the poor (v.4).
Recently, several books have helped me grapple with systemic injustices woven into many social systems. One book catalogued how our criminal justice system can often be stacked against those at the margins. Another shared how the working poor have often been neglected and abused while those in power have profited from their misfortune. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we wade into this disturbing information. And these are only two urgent issues. What are we to do? How are we to make things right?
As we read the prophet Isaiah, we find that God—in Jesus—works against such evils. God protects the innocent and provides justice for those who have none. Isaiah promised that out “of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root” (11:1) This new Branch, Jesus, is the one who “will give justice to the poor” and “make fair decisions for the exploited” (v.4). This new Justice-Maker will “not judge by appearance” or “make a decision based on hearsay” as the powers of this world often do (v.3).
Even more, when Jesus has finished His justice-making work, “the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat” (v.6). When Jesus returns, there will be no more injustice. No longer will this world be divided between those in power and those who are oppressed. When Jesus makes the world just, we’ll see “a banner of salvation to all the world” (v.10). Everyone will be treated fairly; no one will be subjugated to another.
Justice isn’t merely a political issue or a slogan. Justice is what God makes in the world as we join Him in His work.
365-day plan: 1 Peter 2:1-25
Read Isaiah 61:8-9 and be encouraged by the words of our just God.
Who do you know who is in need of justice? Reflect on their story and consider how you might join them in their struggle.