Posts Tagged ‘judiciary’

The prophet Isaiah spoke the message of God to ancient Israel in the time just before the Assyrian empire invaded and conquered it, taking most of the people into exile in other countries, never to return. In this passage, we have a glimpse into the mind of God as he uses nations to accomplish His will.

Word:  Isaiah 10:1-5 (NLT)

What sorrow awaits the unjust judges
    and those who issue unfair laws.
They deprive the poor of justice
    and deny the rights of the needy among my people.
They prey on widows
    and take advantage of orphans.
What will you do when I punish you,
    when I send disaster upon you from a distant land?
To whom will you turn for help?
    Where will your treasures be safe?
You will stumble along as prisoners
    or lie among the dead.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

Words: from the prophet Zephaniah about Ancient Israel

Chapter 3 
No one can tell it anything;
    it refuses all correction.
It does not trust in the Lord
    or draw near to its God.
Its leaders are like roaring lions
    hunting for their victims.
Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time,
    who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.
Its prophets are arrogant liars seeking their own gain.
    Its priests defile the Temple by disobeying God’s instructions.
But the Lord is still there in the city,
    and he does no wrong.
Day by day he hands down justice,
    and he does not fail.
    But the wicked know no shame.

“I have wiped out many nations,
    devastating their fortress walls and towers.
Their streets are now deserted;
    their cities lie in silent ruin.
There are no survivors—
    none at all.
I thought, ‘Surely they will have reverence for me now!
    Surely they will listen to my warnings.
Then I won’t need to strike again,
    destroying their homes.’
But no, they get up early
    to continue their evil deeds.

Some things make the King of All Nations furious!  Unjust judges who issue unfair laws that show disregard or take advantage of the needy are at the top of the list. Next come religious leaders who disregard God’s instructions, usually because they are interested in their own advancement more than helping others or serving God.  So if the judges of the nation disregard the needy and the religious leaders disregard God in favor of promoting themselves, the nation is in serious trouble.

The King of All Nations is still there! He is not instantly offended, quick to exercise His wrath; no, instead he continues to minister day after day, causing it to rain on the just and the unjust, providing for the sheep and the goats—but not forever.

Apparently when the Goodness of the King fails to win the hearts of the people, then His justice demands punishment. “I have wiped out the nations . . . . Surely they will have reverence for me now!” What does God have to do to a nation to win its heart and its obedience?

Prayer:  O God, forgive our judges for corruption; capture again the hearts of our religious leaders. Teach us to obey your instructions because your love and mercy and fairness overwhelm us. You and you alone are our King!  Amen.

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