Partners for Justice – Isaiah 59:15-16 (NLT)
15 Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked. The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice. 16 He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.
The community described in Isaiah 59 had failed utterly to address the issues of injustice because the people had rejected God. Their willful commission of sins had created a gulf between themselves and God, so much so that when they cried out for justice, God did not listen. Not only that, those who sought to do the right thing were oppressed, ridiculed, and treated harshly by their peers. Verse 16 in the NLT says: 16 [God] was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.” As many of you know, God has a track record for stepping in at just the right time. One of the most well-known cases involves Moses, who was born a slave and later transformed into the liberator of a vast nation. Moses was fruitful because he partnered with God. God made a simple request of Moses – He told Moses to stretch out his staff. Moses complied, and his obedience made a monumental difference.
God makes simple requests of us, too. For example, God told us to love. Our love might not look exactly like a staff that we stretch out in this hate-fueled fight for justice. But we most certainly hold in our grasp the tools to make a difference: we have our hearts, our hands, our feet, our voices, our minds, our economic resources, our education, and other things God has equipped us with. God expects us to use these things to contribute to our liberation and the liberation of other people with whom we stand in solidarity.
Just like God expects us to do our part, we expect God to act on our behalf. In the Moses scenario, God used nature to provide deliverance. And there are other times when God fights the battle from on high. We may not always be able to see how God is working behind the scenes. Sometimes we have to stand still in faith and know that God is working things out.
The moral of this story is that God will be your partner in this fight for justice if you just let him. God can use anyone at any time as a partner to accomplish God’s eternal plan. God can and will fight our battles if we take the first step in faith and let God do the rest.