from a Biblical Perspective
"Now the Lord saw, and it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no one to intercede ...." (Isaiah 59:15b-16a)
A Plea for Justice
We appear to be on the verge of a new Civil War in our country. The catalyst was a white police officer’s taking the life of an African-American detainee named George Floyd. This was tragic.
There is even a map that spotlights “police violence.” There have been endless protests mixed with violence. Stores have been broken into and looted, and sometimes torched. Protesters have burned police vehicles and torn down statues of Confederate War heroes. They have even taken over a police station in downtown Seattle and created what they refer to as an independent nation, a police-free “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ). Ironically, the same people who abhor police and national borders have armed militia within and barricades around their new country.
The two political sides of the United States are polar opposites. While neither side believes the police officer did the right thing, one side supports the violence of the protests and the other does not. One side believes in some degree of free market; the other in some degree of Marxism. They cannot agree on truth, and so they cannot agree on justice.
Sadly, this quagmire only illustrates the depravity of man (Romans 3:10-18). And it highlights the slow but inevitable collapse of a nation that has systematically turned its back on God (Romans 1:18-32).
What Isaiah wrote of the nation of Israel in 700 B.C. could easily be written about America in 2020 (Isaiah 59:12-13):
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, And our sins testify against us; For our transgressions are with us, And we know our iniquities: 13 Transgressing and denying the Lord, And turning away from our God, Speaking oppression and revolt, Conceiving in and uttering from the heart lying words.
Isaiah continued (Isaiah 59:14-15a):
14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter. 15 Yes, truth is lacking; And he who turns aside from evil makes himself a prey.
Isaiah described God as looking in vain for a single human being who could intercede between God and man, and bring about justice (Isaiah 59:15b-16a):
Now the Lord saw, And it was displeasing in His sight that there was no justice. 16 And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede;
So God decided He Himself would provide salvation and righteousness for His people, and vengeance and recompense to His enemies (Isaiah 59:16b-18):
Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him. 17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle. 18 According to their deeds, so He will repay, Wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; To the coastlands He will make recompense.
Here is the result of God Himself providing salvation and justice (Isaiah 59:19):
So they will fear the name of the Lord from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun, For He will come like a rushing stream Which the wind of the Lord drives.
How will God Himself accomplish this? (Isaiah 59:20):
“A Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” declares the Lord.
This redeemer is none other than Jesus the Christ. He came the first time to die vicariously for the sins of all people. He arose, ascended to heaven, and will come a second time to eliminate His adversaries and those of His people, and bring justice and peace to the world.
How serious is God about His provision of righteousness, salvation, and justice? He has made an inviolable covenant (Isaiah 59:21):
“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”
So for all of you out there yearning for justice and salvation, righteousness and peace, my conclusion is this: First, do not depend on mere humans to provide justice. We are all flawed and we are incapable of providing it. Second, there is only one avenue of justice and salvation and peace. That is Jesus Christ. Place your trust in Him, and live to serve Him. When He returns, you will be able to join Him in His Kingdom of justice, righteousness, salvation, and peace.
James T. Bartsch
Email Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 13, 2020
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