Today’s Bible reading is Isaiah 59 and 2 Corinthians 9.
How long ago would you guess these words were written?
Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
Two thousand, seven hundred years ago in Isaiah 59:14-15. Think about that. Words that could be written today to describe some of humanity’s most grievous ongoing problems are more than twenty-seven centuries old. And we can’t blame our Creator.
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear. (Isa 59:1-2)
The result of the separation? Devastating.
…our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
transgressing, and denying the LORD,
and turning back from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words. (Isa 59:12-13)
Not great news to share on a Monday morning, is it? But listen. The good news greater than the bad in this section of Isaiah’s prophecy is that “a Redeemer will come” (Isa 59:20).
“And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (Isa 59:21)
Justice continues to be turned back in the kingdoms of this world. Righteousness often stands far away. Truth still stumbles in the public squares of humanity. But our Redeemer has come. What news needs more sharing this week than that? Let’s live as his covenant people today. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in his sight above all. May the people still dwelling in a land of deep darkness see something different–something better–reflected in us.
A great light.