Speaking to the Soul – May 11


“Be just and fair to all. Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you and to display my righteousness among you. Blessed are all those who are careful to do this.” Isaiah 56:1-2

Justice is a major theme throughout the book of Isaiah. From the first chapter, God declares his hatred of every form of injustice and his unwillingness to receive the worship of people who refuse to act justly. God is incredibly blunt. He declares that he has had more than enough of the people’s sacrifices and is burdened by their religious festivals. It’s vital that we realise that fighting for justice is not an optional extra for Christians. It is integral to our worship. Or to use the straightforward language of Isaiah 1:15-17, if we don’t live justly then God won’t listen to our prayers.

I wonder how well you know the community where you live and whether you can identify where injustice is taking place. I say that because most forms of injustice are hidden. They can happen in busy cities and quiet villages. The only way to know what is going on is to get to know people well and to hear their stories. In Isaiah’s world, the people who were most vulnerable and who suffered the greatest injustices were those with disabilities, foreigners, orphans and widows. And everyone was vulnerable to those market traders who acted unfairly and who rigged their scales to increase their profits.

Injustice is an offence to God because it is a denial of everything that he wants, and it spoils the lives of everyone it touches. No wonder he hates to listen to the worship of people who live unjustly! As we worship our great God of justice we need to understand that, as we sing our songs of praise, we are being recruited to be fair and just to everyone we meet.

In what ways are you working for justice in your community?

Loving God, help me to love the people around me enough to spot injustice when it occurs. Give me courage to stand up for people who are being treated unjustly. Amen