WARNING - Work in Progress

WARNING - Work in Progress
WARNING - Work in Progress

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our Holy War – 8/13/2017


Psalm 12:1-4 (NIV)
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
    those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
Everyone lies to their neighbor;
    they flatter with their lips
    but harbor deception in their hearts.
May the Lord silence all flattering lips
    and every boastful tongue—
those who say,
    “By our tongues we will prevail;
    our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

I want to make a comment on Man’s cry for justice because it’s something that everyone of us has done before.  We’ve all cried out, at one time or another, for justice: to our parents, to our teachers, to our friends, family, the countless service operators at the cable or cell phone companies, and anyone else who might listen.  When that internal justice meter in our souls tell us that we’ve not been treated fairly, we raise up the banner of holy-hell and we begin a battle to demand justice.  We may have even asked God to mitigate that justice as well.

While it may be true that we have been wronged, there is a reality that we need to take a breath and inspect ourselves when we call upon God to go to bat for us.

In Isaiah 58 the Israelites were constantly calling on God for justice but nothing they did seemed to get through to Him.  They wondered what the deal was, why God was not responding to all of their churchy and religious actions.  I add the text to Isaiah 58:2-9 here because; well because it is just so priceless.

For day after day they [the Israelites] seek me [God] out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,

    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

What we need to pay attention to is if we are calling to God for justice on our behalves, are we also giving justice to those around us?  This may very well be the original Pay-it-Forward human effort.

At the end of the day, God’s true justice is not just for me[1], but it’s for us.  It was for the sake of Justice that Jesus went to the cross (Isa 42:1)[2], and he said that if we would be his disciple that we would pick up our crosses daily and follow him (Matthew 16:24)[3].

[1] Me stating this did not cause me to give Verizon a pass.  For the record, I will never do business with Verizon again.
[2] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+42%3A1&version=NIV
[3] https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+16%3A24&version=KJV

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