“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly…” Micah 6:8
Justice shall go forth…
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
BUT… no one calls out for justice, nor does any plead for truth. For they work iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. The way of peace, they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways. Therefore, justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us. We look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but there is none… for salvation is far from us. For in transgressing and lying against the LORD… speaking oppression and revolt and uttering from the heart words of falsehood… justice is turned back! Righteousness stands afar off for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter, so truth fails.
The LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor…
Yes, He wondered that there was no intercessor. (condensed from Isaiah 59)
O LORD, how long shall I cry, and You not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” and You will not save. Why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble? For there is strife and contention and the law is powerless. Justice never goes forth! Why, O LORD, why do you look on those who deal treacherously and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours those more righteous than he?
Yes, O LORD, why do you show me iniquity, and cause me to see trouble?
And so, I will stand my watch. I will wait to see what He will say to me. This is the LORD’s reply:
Woe to him who increases what is not his. Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house that he may set his nest on high that he may be delivered from the power of disaster. Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establishes a city by iniquity. (condensed from the book of Habakkuk) And so, I have to ask myself, is this what I’ve done? Have I turned a blind eye to what’s happening around me, so that I could increase my own? Have I coveted evil in that I’ve worked to deliver me and my own from disaster and strife, regardless of who may perish at my own gain? And have I built up my own city through bloodshed… is my very own house built upon blood because I ignore the wars and the ravaging of human beings that take place every day… just not here… where I can see it. Is this what I’ve done?
And so, I pray to God. I ask Him to revive me… the work of His hands… in the midst of the days. For behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, nor His ear heavy that it cannot hear. Justice shall go forth…
A big question today is, “Why?” If God is so loving, then why is His hand not saving those who are perishing in the world? And if God is just (and He is), then why does injustice seem to escalate? Why, oh why, are there starving, and homeless, and diseased, and addicted, and enslaved, and exploited, and murdered? Why do people have to suffer and die for what seems senseless? How is it that I have food overflowing, and there are kids who go home to empty pantries? Why would a loving God allow all this? Life just seems so unfair… and so we cry out to Him in prayer. We cling to Him and ask these tough questions. We cry out “Violence!” and at times feel helpless. And honestly, we sometimes feel like God’s hand is shortened that it cannot save… and that His ear is heavy, that it cannot hear. Because nothing seems to change.
But you see… God wonders that there is no intercessor. See, He’s waiting for that one who will be moved from complacent, yet uncomfortable, walls. He’s waiting for that one who is willing to wake up to His call of compassion. He’s waiting for us… His people who call themselves Christians… to do just what Jesus did. Because His people make up the body of Christ today. And as the body of Christ, we are His hands. May we not be shortened that we cannot save. We are His ears. May we not be heavy, that we cannot hear. We are the body of Christ, and as such, we need to do what Jesus did. And so, WWJD? What would Jesus do if He were still here today?
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 1:6
Jesus would preach the gospel to the poor and heal the brokenhearted. He would preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. He would set at liberty those who were oppressed and held captive. And all the while, he would meet real needs in real ways. Because when He walked the earth so long ago, He was moved by what He saw. When He saw a great multitude, He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick. (Matthew 14:14) And when He saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” (Luke 7:13). And when Jesus called His disciples to Him, He said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint away on the way.” (Matthew 15:32) Jesus had compassion… do we?
There’s a quotation attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, although there is no evidence to support that she ever said it. However, I think we’ve all heard the expression, “Let them eat cake.” Supposedly the Queen voiced this phrase when she was made aware that the people were suffering because of bread shortages. “Let them eat cake,” acquired great symbolic importance in later histories when people wanted to demonstrate the obliviousness and selfishness of upper-classes at that time (Wikipedia). At any rate, it strikes a chord here. We can pray and plead with God, “Let them eat cake…” Or, we can be moved to action. Our hearts can start beating as one with His heart, and we can be moved to not only pray that they have cake, but that we also be so moved as to go out and give them the cake. See, He gave us arms and hands. We are His arms and hands… may God revive our hearts and open our eyes to see the need that surrounds us, so that we will use what He gave us. May we be what He created us to be… His limbs.
God is waiting for an intercessor today. Right now. Perhaps God is waiting for you and me.
May His justice go forth…