WHERE IS THE GOD OF JUSTICE – AN EXPLORATION IN FOUR PARTS
This is a study of the treasures found in Isaiah 32 addressing:
Part 1, I See No Justice
Part 2 What is Justice ?
Part 3 Justice and The Land
Part 4 Justice and The Fire
I SEE NO JUSTICE has been my cry ….
The poor suffer at the hands of everyone. Even those trying to help are subject to the wolves, out to get a piece of the help action.
Help attracts everyone:
First, the dirt poor who need everything.
Second, the sick who will perish without help.
Third, the power climbers —-as you present a new ladder for their climb.
Fourth, the opportunists who see a way for their dream to happen.
Fifth, the thieves.
There are as many categories as there are motives. Their hearts say, “How can I get an advantage over someone else, to profit from this help?” I now understand why the Kingdom of God is only about heart issues. Even New Testament giving is about heart issues….a cheerful heart….give joyfully…..with thanksgiving….
The Bible calls it the root of all evil.
When money comes in for a purpose, each person who gets to view that money, or handle that money, subjects the money to what is in the deepest part of their heart. They will consider how to make it theirs;
or maybe just a twisting of how to make it more beneficial for their purposes. No-one considers how to make it serve the greatest good.
This would require an unselfish heart.
Now jump from this line of thinking to Justice.
What is justice really?
Is it not a heart issue that can consider the greatest good without any selfishness? Is it not the ability to make the greatest good happen for the neediest? Would it include wrongs to be made right with the effort of those who did the wrongs?
So, I am looking and looking for pure hearts in this world. Those who will turn injustice to justice. Those who will do away with the selfishness that steals the help from the poor.
The poor can be the most deceitful of all, depending on their selfishness factor.
They can also be the most unselfish of all, depending on their compassion level.
I have both extremes in my humble org.
Being “the poor” does not necessarily make one a victim.
So what does make one a victim ?
Could it be injustice?
As sons of God, should we not be about correcting injustice?
If Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of His throne, then we need a plan from heaven for establishing His justice for the poor, who are victims of the selfishness of men’s hearts.
My cry joins that of King David from Psalm 94.
v. 3 How long shall the wicked exult? They poor forth words, they speak arrogantly. All who do wickedness (selfishness) vaunt themselves. They crush Thy people oh Lord, and afflict Thy heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the orphans. And they have said, the Lord does not see, nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.
V 16 Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may seek to move beyond your own comfort and serve others sacrificially.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and the exploitation of others, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hands to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough childlike faith to believe He is sovereign in this world, so that Christ can do through you what others claim cannot be done.
This blessing I simply received on an email that came from someone I do not remember. I end with it because it is from someone in this world, who cares enough about injustice to ask others to join him.
WHERE IS THE GOD OF JUSTICE PART 2
FEB. 5TH 2009
If you choose to read this , I will take you on a journey with me, while i work through the issues surrounding the cry of my heart.
This is a study of the treasures found in Isaiah 32 addressing:
Part 2 What is Justice ?,
Part 3 Justice and The Land,
Part 4 Justice and The Fire,
Part 2 …… What is Justice?
Our outline is Isaiah 32:1-8. This is a small passage on a big topic !
From this statement we know that God is just. Isaiah 30:18.
“Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.”
He says that His very throne is built upon the foundation of justice with its partner righteousness.
“ and Justice are the foundations of His throne “Psalm 89:14. This puts justice to platform standing !
It is the foundation of everything else contained in the throne of God.
These two eternal qualities maintain, carry, and are even the very building blocks of the . Even Judgment comes from a foundation of justice, as it is an outcome or result of it.
We must remember that when Jesus taught in his parables he always described qualities of heart. He was communicating in Kingdom language
using everyday examples from peoples lives.
Chapter 32 of Isaiah describes a future ruled by righteousness and justice. It tells:
v.1,2 who rules (King and princes) and describes their rule.
v.3,4 how it affects and changes the people
v.5,6 truth will be acknowledged
v.7,8 describes how truth is acknowledged in the hearts of the evil, the needy and the noble.
Verse one: “Behold a king will reign righteously, and princes will rule justly. V.2 And each will be like a refuge from the wind, and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.” Here we have four examples of what a righteous and just rule will feel like. I imagined each one. It feels like relief, like safety, like provision for life, comfort. Just the thought of it is giving me desire like a thirst, to HAVE it.
Verse 3: Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded, and the ears of those who hear will listen. And the mind of the hasty will discern the truth and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly.
When Isaiah had the burning coal from the seraphim touch his lips he heard the voice of the Lord saying, 6:8 “whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then he replied, “Here am I. Send me!” v.9 And He said,
“Go and tell this people:
Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking but do not understand.
Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.”
This was Isaiah’s commission, yet in our chapter 32 passage he is given the relief of it or the answer to it or the cure for it —-righteousness and justice. The Lord once instructed me to use this passage of Isaiah 6:9 to pray for the lost. (in the affirmative !! ) It is interesting to note that the apostle Paul quotes this same verse at the end of the book of Acts telling the Jews that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles. He is equating the spiritual opening of eyes, ears, and hearts, as His Salvation.
This is the work of salvation. I am reminded that as Jesus walked in the physical he did this work in a physical and spiritual way. He healed the physically and spiritually blind, deaf, and those with closed hearts, and said, “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
TRUTH IS ACKNOWLEDGED
When justice and righteousness rule verse 5 & 6 will be the result:
“No longer will the fool be called noble, or the rogue be spoken to as generous. For a fool speaks nonsense and his heart inclines toward wickedness, to practice ungodliness and to speak error against the LORD. To keep the hungry person unsatisfied and to withhold drink from the thirsty.”
EACH WILL BE KNOWN BY THEIR WAYS
V.7 ,8 As for the rogue, his weapons are evil; He devises wicked schemes to destroy the afflicted with slander, even though the needy one speaks what is right. But the noble man devises noble plans; and by noble plans he stands.
This is the start of our study of Justice. We just read descriptions of
what justice looks like in people. Let’s review.
Righteous and Just rule feels like: relief, safety, provision for life, comfort.
People’s spiritual eyes and ears will be opened and they can discern the truth.
Evil is labeled evil and good is called good. It is for all to see.
This is how Justice appears in the realm of man.
WHERE IS THE GOD OF JUSTICE part 3 Jane Snyder March 2 2009
From Isaiah chapter 32 we will explore how justice looks in the land.
Verses 9-20 address the issue of the land; describing what the land was like before righteous rule (v. 9-14) and after (v.15-20) . The passage states that the dividing line between the two is (v.15), when the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high.
When the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high is a most amazing statement considering this happened some 700 years later on the day of Pentecost. From this we see that Justice in the land was procured for us in the resurrection of Christ, and left for us (as the bride of Christ) to bring it into the land. In other terms the land left desolate was to become fertile if righteousness and Justice ruled in the place.
If v. 15-20 was referring to a later time of millennial reign (as opposed to the church age), the writer would not have spoken with the very terms used on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-4. We also need to remember that this Spirit came not only with wind but with fire. I am going to discuss this fire in the next part of this series. But in part 3 we are looking at the issues of justice in THE LAND.
We have established that justice in the land was procured for us in the resurrection of Christ and that the rule and reign for justice is now, not later.
Verses 9 –14 describe the desolate land as it is speaking to the women who are at ease telling them to 1. Rise up 2. Tremble 3. Be troubled 4. To beat their breasts, for the pleasant fields and the fruitful vines. It is the call to intercession to take the land from desolation to fruitfulness.
The place where I am currently working in Northern Uganda is such a place as this. The land has been desolate for years. The people were put into IDP Camps to live, while the rebels continued to abduct kids, and decimate the population and the land. Currently we are at the time when the people are returning to their land, even without their beloved peace agreement. Yet the terror and bloodshed are still being felt in the place as we see the spiritual invade the physical realms in a wave of horror like this:
New Vision (Kampala)
Uganda: Kitgum School Closed Over Ghosts
Chris Ocowun, 23 February 2009
Kampala — KITGUM district leaders have temporarily closed Layamo Agwata Primary School in Palabek-Gem sub-county after pupils turned violent.
School authorities claim the children were possessed by ghosts of persons killed during the LRA insurgency. The chairman, John Ogwok, said the ghosts have been strangling pupils.
Ogwok added that religious and political leaders who went to conduct prayers in the school on Saturday, fled when they were attacked by ghosts.
The school and district leaders agreed to close the school for two weeks to conduct more prayers and rituals.
There are plans to exhume the remains in a mass grave near the school for reburial.
“We shall negotiate with the religious leaders to allow the elders to conduct rituals to chase away the ghosts,” Ogwok said.
Religious leaders rejected earlier attempts by elders and parents to perform rituals at the school. The LC3 chairman, Johnson Patrick Olaa, said his office was investigating reports that the ghosts instructed their victims to get guns and axes to fight the rest of the children. Those affected were tied with ropes and taken to hospital.
The need for the “women at ease” to take up their posts, is of great importance (Isaiah 32 v.15) until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field is considered as a forest. 16 Then JUSTICE WILL DWELL IN THE WILDERNESS AND RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL ABIDE IN THE FERTILE FIELD. 17 AND THE WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL BE PEACE, AND THE SERVICE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL BE QUIETNESS AND CONFIDENCE FOREVER.
18 Then my people will live in peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places; 19 and it will hail when the forest comes down and the city will be utterly laid low. 20 How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters, who let out freely the ox and the donkey.
The message here is that Justice and righteousness does not come until there has been intercession, with the Spirit poured out upon us. We will notice the difference in the land. It will be fertile and even be considered a forest. And there will be PEACE …..QUIETNESS…..CONFIDENCE.
That is how we will know Justice has come. This is why I work there;
to see justice come and displace the evil. Please join me in your prayers.
WHERE IS THE GOD OF JUSTICE part 4 final
May 23, 2009
The Justice Series
Part 1 Where is the God of Justice? The cry of my heart.
Part 2 A Study in Isaiah 32 “What is Justice ?”
Part 3 Justice in the Land
Part 4 Justice from Fire
Part 4 – Justice from Fire
I am completing the Justice Series with this final part.
I am aware that these are questions very few people are interested in studying. Yet there are many saying today “What is our responsibility to the poor?” They are concerned with social justice. An even bigger question in the West is, “How long until we too are poor !!” There is even a TV show called “The Philanthropist”. I never before recall the media promoting such a topic. I believe the time is now to get some answers from the Word of God concerning Justice. My study is on the broad aspect of justice, not the small one of social justice, even though my work in Uganda is all about social justice. If you missed the other 3 parts just write to me and I will happy to send them out to you. Jane
Justice from the fire is our topic in this teaching from Isaiah 33:14-24
JUSTICE AT PENTECOST
In Part 3 of this 4 part series we discussed when the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high and how it changed everything. This Spirit came not only with wind but WITH FIRE. Acts 2:3 and there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. I think we can all agree that fire is a purifier. It consumes and whatever is left is purified. Was there any justice when this fire came?
1.There was justice for Jesus as he was now openly acknowledged as “the Christ” Acts 2:36 (in the Greek; Christos, Anointed, Messiah)
2.There was justice in the repentance among the people that followed the sermons of Peter immediately after the with wind and fire.
3.There was justice in that there were great signs and wonders being done by 12 men, and not one man. Soon there were 5000 people empowered by this . (Acts 4:4)
JUSTICE FROM JUDGMENT FIRES (destroying)
Did Jesus get justice on his enemies? Yes. Did it come through fire being called down from heaven to vanquish all who killed him? No.
brought up this issue as recorded in Luke 9:51-56.
Let’s see what Jesus had to say about the destroying fire.
When the disciples James and John saw this, (that people were not welcoming Jesus) they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” But He turned and rebuked them and said, ”You do not know what kind of spirit you are of: 56 for the son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went on to another village.
NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO PRAY FOR THE LIVES OF YOUR ENEMIES!
Jesus got justice over His enemies through the people 1. hearing the truth (Peter preached this) 2.and believing it, 3.and receiving the power from on high. Even when the religious leaders tried to arrest these apostles (as they had done to Jesus) they were incapable of keeping them in chains because of the miraculous power. Today there are more Christians in the world than any other religion.
What happened to the kingdoms that killed Jesus?
The Roman empire, (the political kingdom), after martyring thousands of believers became a Christian empire for a time until it gradually declined into the middle ages. The Jews, (the religious kingdom), were dispersed among the nations and the temple destroyed. They were dissipated. Was this dissipation justice? No. The miraculous power from on high resident in a growing number of believers was the justice inflicted upon His enemies. It was a growing army of love with signs following.
Let us go back to the prophet Isaiah who not only prophesied the Spirit being poured out, but had this to say about judgment: In Chapter 33 he starts with confronting THE DESTROYER. v. 1. Then in v.2-4 comes a prayer or plea. Verse 5&6 is a description of the result of the Lord arising: He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. V.7-9 is a description of verse 3: At the sound of the tumult the peoples flee; at the lifting up of Thyself nations disperse.
Verse 10: NOW I WILL ARISE says the Lord, now I will be exalted, now I will be lifted up. You have conceived chaff,( He is still speaking to THE DESTROYER) you will give birth to stubble; My breath will consume you like a fire, and the peoples will be burned to lime, like cut thorns which are burned in the fire. You who are far away hear what I have done; and you who are near acknowledge my might.
V.14 Sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling has seized the godless.
This caught my attention as it addresses sinners among the godly.
Then comes the big question:
WHO AMONG US CAN LIVE WITH THE
WHO AMONG US CAN LIVE WITH CONTINUAL BURNING ?
The word “continual” (burning) means Everlasting (5769 olam —-ancient eternal beginning and without end) fire.
This is not referring to an earthly fire; it is talking of a spiritual fire that is ablaze when the Lord arises v.10.
Who can live with this fire?
Now look at this answer: Is.33:15
1. He who walks righteously
2. and speaks with sincerity
3. He who rejects unjust gain
4. and shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe
5. He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
6. and shuts his eyes from looking upon evil.
This is some kind of people! This kind of people can live with continual burning.
Daniel and his friends not being burnt in the lion’s den is the Old Testament’s prophetic example of this holy people who walk in the fire.
Remember that there was a fourth man seen. In interpretation, this would show walking with Jesus is needed for not being burnt. Who was destroyed in this story? The ones doing the burning. (THE DESTROYER).
Let us continue:
Isaiah 26:9b and 10a says:
“For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the earth will learn RIGHTEOUSNESS (Justice). 6664 Tsedeq Justice –altogether just
Isaiah speaks again of judgment by fire in the last chapter of his book.
66:14b But He shall be indignant toward his enemies. V.15 For behold the LORD will come in fire and His chariots like the whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.
All of this for the work of THE DESTROYER in the land.
Are we to HELP destroy the Lord’s enemies?
But He turned and rebuked them and said, ”You do not know what kind of spirit you are of: for the son of man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went on to another village. Luke 9:56
JUSTICE FROM MERCY AND TRUTH
When “mercy and truth” meet together, room is made for justice.
“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that Glory might dwell in the land.
Mercy and Truth have met together;
and Peace have kissed each other.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Yes, the Lord shall give what is good (Promises):
And our land shall yield its increase (Grace).
JUSTICE shall go before Him, and shall make His footsteps our pathway.”
Concerning the phrase JUSTICE SHALL GO BEFORE HIM, we need to keep in mind when “mercy and truth” meet together, room is made for justice.
YES, room is made for justice.
I will leave this teaching on “Where is the God of Justice” with this practical way to walk in His Justice:
Zechariah 7:9,10 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer TRUE JUSTICE ;show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’” Amen