“The vineyard of he Lord Almighty is he house of Israel, and the men of Judah are the garden of his delight. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress. Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field till no space is left and you live alone in the land.” (Isaiah 5:7-8)
Small peasant holdings were passing into the hands of aristocrats. The call of the prophets was for restoration of the poor to their place of economic, social, and political independence. The basis for this call is in the nature of God’s justice that calls for relief from injustice. He expects righteousness instead of riots and legality instead of lamentation.
God’s displeasure and judgment will be revealed against those who have accrued property/properties at the expense of others. They have become ostentatiously right through the injustice imposed on those who have little. Wealth quickly vanishes considering the length of time on this earth; however, the need for proper relationship with God is eternal.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, Jesus said we would always have the poor with us, and this is true. However, our treatment of them becomes an eternal judgment on us, for how we treat those less fortunate ones around us. We are to seek to meet their needs, whatever they may be, and strive to give them food, clothing, housing, and decent human consideration. This we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“When Jesus is all we have, we realize Jesus is all we need.”
“He answered me, ‘The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of injustice. They say, The Lord does not see. So I will not look on them with pity or spare them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have done.’” (Ezekiel 9:9-10)
God’s punishment is often delayed in His grace. He does not delay forever though, at the time best suiting His purposes, He exercises unrelenting judgment on a sinful people. We destroy society through injustice and greed. Then we complain that God has ignored us and cannot see our troubles or help us. God will not take responsibility for our sins; we must take responsibility for our own sins. An unjust people who think they can fool God face His inevitable judgment, and at the right time of His judgment, it will come swiftly and surely upon the shoulders of those who thought God was ignoring us, or could not see our troubles or help us.
“In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:4, 10)
Christianity turns religion’s cent of interest from the law and its interpretation to the Spirit and His direction of our lives. Rightly understood law and Spirit do not contradict. They both point us to righteousness (Greek – dikauiosune), and word meaning both righteousness and justification. God’s acts in Christ have made us right with Him, conferring on us the status of being justified. This status is more than a name or category given us. It is a new way of life to be lived out in the power of God’s Spirit. Righteousness is not something we strive after or claim rewards for achieving. It is God’s gift in Christ through the Spirit for people of faith.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“As it is written: ‘He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” (2nd Corinthians 9:9-10)
Paul reminded the Corinthians of God’s sufficiency of grace and of His justice. The conclusion shown for believers is that our justice and righteousness are to correspond to God’s. We are o give to the poor. Giving is a part of our righteousness. Righteousness is thus expressed outwardly in meeting the needs of other people. Such acts of righteousness bring a harvest so we can then give even more. Justice is thus based on a willingness on our part to give to others; not on a demand for rights, but rather from the love of Christ within our hearts, to serve our Lord Jesus.