After being away for awhile, Isaiah returns with force as we go back to the very beginning of his prophetic book (Is 1:10, 16-20). Here, Isaiah conveys God’s sentiments to the wicked: repent, especially of injustice. As evil as the people have been, they still can be washed entirely clean if they “set things right…are willing, and obey” (vv. 18, 19). To persistently “refuse and resist” (v. 20) means destruction.
The timeless message of Isaiah is, sadly, very easy to apply today. In a world gone mad, the Lord continues to implore His people to “set things right.” Today’s passage focuses on injustice, particularly of the orphan and widow, as a key reason for His anger toward His people. We should work to ensure that the most needy and vulnerable are treated with the equal dignity and respect that is their due by virtue of being n God’s image and likeness; certainly widows and orphans, but also the unborn, the elderly of any stripe, the poor, the downtrodden, and prisoners. We are to see Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters and be the face (and the hands and feet) of Christ to these poor ones. When we see injustice, whether coming from ourselves, society, the government, or the judicial system, we must actively work to stop it. We are called to build up the kingdom of God. All too often, and increasingly more each day it seems, we find ourselves in the midst of a culture that embraces the prince of this world rather than the King of the next world.
Let us implore the perfect lawgiver and judge to convert our culture of death to one of life. And let it begin with me.