Do not Rob the Poor: Do Justice!

Do not Rob the Poor: Do Justice!
I’m currently working through the book of Isaiah for my devotional reading. Please allow me to share with you a provocative passage that I read this morning from Isaiah chapter 10. I will close with a brief comment.
 
1 Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees,
 
and the writers who keep writing oppression,
 
2 to turn aside the needy from justice
 
and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
 
that widows may be their spoil,
 
and that they may make the fatherless their prey!
 
3 What will you do on the day of punishment,
 
in the ruin that will come from afar?
 
To whom will you flee for help,
 
and where will you leave your wealth? (Isaiah 10:1-3)
While this passage makes a clarion call to anyone to do justice, it is directed explicitly to those in power and authority, and the individuals with societal influence who use their influence and power to write off justice and promote what is deemed unjust, God-dishonoring, and evil before the Lord. The underlying truth about this passage is that God despises these people and will judge them for the miscarriage of justice and the failure to protect the weak and the oppressed. Furthermore, my summary of this passage is articulated in six points below:
  1.   Do to support those who rob the poor and exploit the immigrant, undocumented workers, etc. to make a profit and increase their wealth!
  2.  Do not associate with those who oppress the poor, the widow, and the fatherless.
  3. Be on the side of the oppressed and those do not have a voice or whose voices have been silent.
  4.  Always be on the side of justice by walking in solidarity with the oppressed and the least among us.
  5.  Defend the rights (i.e. Human rights, civil rights, the right to live and exist) of those whose rights have been taken away and those whose rights have been undermined in society.
  6.  People who refuse to do these things or any of these things will experience God’s imminent eschatological judgment and his great day of wrath.
*Our present time is characterized by an increase desire and search for wealth, power, and economic stability, as well as prominence, popularity, and high social standing. Unfortunately, many people, corporations, institutions, both private and public, will do whatever it takes–even stepping on people’s toes or employers will exploit their employers or vice versa–to get to the top. By contrary, the disciples of Christ in today’s society are called to live differently and justly in these dangerous times than those who are not following Christ and resisting justice and love.   God’s wisdom contradicts human wisdom, and his ways transcend ours. God has called the community of faith, his people, to be on the side of justice and to work robustly, consistently, and practically to affirm the value of underprivileged individuals and people–by defending their rights and take a stand against those who are mistreating, exploiting, and dehumanizing them. Failure to practice any of these things will bring dishonor to God and stimulate his wrath and judgment. He has called his people, the people of God to embrace a higher ethical and value system and to an alternative lifestyle that are contrary to worldly demands but consistent with his character and his desire for justice, righteousness, and human flourishing.

To the glorious praise of the Triune and Eternal God!
Rev. Dr. Celucien L. Joseph
President
Hope for Today Outreach
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Entrusting/Trusting God in All Things

Entrusting/Trusting God in All Things

HTO MISSION TRIP PICS (PORT MARGOT, DEC. 18-26) 436.JPG

  Peter 2:23 (NIV)

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

What does it mean to trust God?

To trust God means that we believe in the promises of God in all circumstances, even in those where the evidence seems to be contrary.

How does trusting God bring confidence? Trusting God brings confidence in the Christian life because it allows us to see God’s true character. It also causes us to realize the greatness of his love for us. Very often, God fails to do things for us because we do not permit him to do so. We want to plan for ourselves. We want things to be done in the way that seems best to our limited wisdom.

Furthermore, trusting in God means total obedience. It means working and walking with God to produce godly results. As Christians, we cannot sit down and fold our hands and expect things to work themselves out. Rather, we need to pray unceasingly.  We must be obedient workers, because our attempts to trust him who is able to accomplish all things according to his will and plan for our lives will amount to nothing if we are not willing to obey.

There is a different between trusting God and entrusting in God. Entrust implies committing with trust and confidence. In the verse mentioned above, the Apostle Peter tells us that when Jesus experienced suffering, He entrusted Himself to God.  Entrusting in God is something we do because we believe. Entrusting is more than just believing; entrust is an active trust, not passive. It requires a change in one’s behavior not in one’s thinking. So for us Christians, “entrust” in God must follow our “trust” in God; to put simply, trust in God is the first step, and entrust in God in the next step in our faith.

For Christians, trusting in God means believing in him, having confidence in him, and obeying him. When you entrust yourself to God, you will submit, surrender, and yield yourself to him so that what you believe God can and will do will happen. To trust God in all things is to live actively a victorious life and a life of discipleship.

Katia