It is hard for the righteous to be saved. 1 Peter 4:18 (NIV) Peter is speaking to Christians about the difficulty of the process of salvation (being saved from sin’s power), and he has a warning and an encouragement for us. A warning to those who find it easy. It...
“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8
See what happens when God’s people get a fresh vision for justice:
“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily” (58:8). When? When you “share your bread with the hungry” (58:7).
“Then…your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard” (58:8). When? When you “bring the homeless poor into your house” (58:7).
“Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am’” (58:9). When? When “you see the naked, to cover him” (58:7).
That was God’s word through the prophet Isaiah to his people 700 years before Christ was born. Now here’s a question for you to consider: Do you think this speaks to evangelical Christians in America today? God sees our worship, our Bible studies, our prayer, and maybe even some fasting. But he is asking what we are doing about the poor, the oppressed, the hungry, the stranger. Do we care about people in desperate need?
There was once a young man in his twenties who had been around church for a while before he rejected Christianity. This was his reason: “It just seemed too selfish to be true.” Christians seemed to be interested only in themselves. Their church was about meeting the needs of its own members. The God they believed in seemed to exist to make them healthy, wealthy, comfortable, and happy. But the plight of others wasn’t on their radar screen.
That’s what Isaiah is talking about here—the church, ignoring justice.
How do you think this speaks to you today?