"Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed.” Isaiah 56:1
Recently the theme of God’s justice has been heavy on my heart lately. There have been some recent incidents in the lives of my friends where it appears evil has triumphed for a season. I get angry that evil gets any victory at all while the righteous suffers. And part of my personality wants to go and fight in my own way for the injustices committed against them. That sense of justice that rises up within me is from the Lord. He has placed His Spirit of righteousness within us that cries out against evil.
When I speak with women in abusive relationships, I get angry. When children are victimized, exploited and manipulated, I get angry. When crimes are committed and people get away with it and don’t suffer any consequences here on earth, I get angry. And God is angry at evil too. He desires righteousness and to see justice done here on His earth.
“For I the Lord love justice, I hate robbery and wrong…” Isaiah 61:8
The caution here is to not let that anger turn into sin. Taking revenge into our hands or having hate towards the people who commit evil now puts us in the wrong and does not please the Lord. Thankfully God has made a way to channel that unrest in our spirit of seeing injustice all around us into steps of action. Prayer is our weapon for us all to see our Mighty God intervene in the lives of those around us. We can use that agony in our souls to cry out to our Deliverer, our Savior to intervene on behalf of us.
“Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.” Isaiah 1:17
God also calls us to fight on behalf of others who cannot fight for themselves. Many of us are afraid to step into the battle of another’s lives because it can be messy and scary. But the very God we cry out to for help when we need it is also commanding us to do the same for another.
“Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed.” Jeremiah 22:3
"Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy."
Perhaps these scriptures resonate more with me, since this has been my calling for the last few years. God has created my personality to fight for the weak and against evil. He’s empowered me by His Spirit and His word to strengthen women in the Lord. He also has specifically called me to minister to those women in varying degrees of abusive relationships. I certainly didn’t look for this ministry, but God has clearly anointed it for His purposes. Maybe this devotional is specifically for that one woman who needs to know God cares about the evil done against her and will fight on her behalf.
I would like to just say a few words about abuse, especially as the days grow darker. Satan always wants to put us back in bondage, whether through our sin, our fears or through the oppression of another. It is not another level of godliness or higher spirituality to allow another to enslave us. That’s a lie from the enemy to keep us from taking action and speaking up. Even in the early Corinthian church, Paul was rebuking the people for allowing the false leaders to put them into bondage again after Christ had freed them.
“For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. To our shame I say that we were too weak for that!...”
2 Corinthians 11:19-21
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1
Jesus Christ died to make us free from sin and fear of death. Christ submitted to death on a cross at the command of the Jews and Romans, but make no mistake, he was no slave, nor in bondage. And His Spirit now resides in each believer that we may stand in power in the Lord and in the freedom He purchased with His own blood.
“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:17-18
Every situation is different, but God can be trusted to lead you into your path of freedom. Some may require involving others and end the secrecy. Some may require calling on the authorities that God has instituted as our avenue of protection. Some may be called to stand for righteousness and confront the sins they have in the past ignored to keep the peace. His word and His Spirit are what we lean on, not our own ideas of what should be done in each situation. And we as friends may be called to step in on their behalf and enter this struggle with them in our prayers and with our presence. I pray for courage and wisdom to obey the Lord in all things for those in it and for those God calls to walk alongside. In all cases, forgiveness, love, courage and trusting in God’s righteous justice will be the rock we stand upon.
How do we continue in the face of evil and injustice all around us? As Isaiah 56:1 says, we keep justice, and do righteousness, for God’s salvation is about to come and His righteousness to be revealed. We stand where God tells us to stand and fight when God shows us we need to fight. In all we wait on our Redeemer coming. Our ultimate hope is in God. Whether He chooses to bring physical freedom now from bondage, or He gives grace to endure and be free in our spirit; remember, one day there will be a reckoning. God is righteous and that truth alone settles the unrest in our souls.
“Which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thessalonians 1:5-8