August 6

Isaiah 1:16-20

“Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” vss. 16-17

Isaiah not only railed against the political and religious leaders in Jerusalem, he told them in no uncertain terms what God required of them. It couldn’t have been hard for them to understand, but it proved enormously difficult for them to do. It would have meant repentance, a complete turn around from what they had been doing. Kings and priests would have needed to stop looking out for their own narrow interests and instead look to the interests of the oppressed and the weak, the least powerful and influential members of society. It’s doubtful that they paid the least bit of attention to Isaiah’s preaching. That’s just how it is with those who hold the reins of power. But Isaiah’s work was not in vain. Jesus adopted his basic teachings and made them the centerpiece of his ministry in Galilee. Latter day prophets have continued to echo Isaiah’s words as they worked on behalf of the oppressed and the broken. From time to time we hear them as they clamor for justice and plead for an end to evil-doing by those in positions of authority. It’s not a popular calling and progress can seem slow. But God is on the side of the lowly, and one day God’s will will be done!

Thought for the Day: Why does power corrupt?

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