WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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A JUSTICE LOVING GOD
(Good news for the oppressed)
In the Greek, the word used for “messenger” is “aggelos” (ang-el-os), and “it describes one who brings news or tidings by divine order from GOD”. The Old Testament prophet served as, quite literally, “the contemporary voice of GOD”. They cried out boldly, not only to foretell future events, but also to correct sinful behavior in his or her current generation.
Their messages were intended to also help mankind to shape “a more moral society”, by adhering to the Word of GOD, for both his, and, for future generations. And every prophet GOD sent was clearly focused on “justice”. So much so, that the word “justice” can be found in Scripture more than 90 times, and the word “just”, as in “being just”, more than 40 times.
For about 700 years of Israel’s history, from the time of Samuel to the time of Malachi, and even beyond that, to the time of John the Baptist, the prophets each served as GOD’s special messenger in their own generation. Their legacy of fierce dedication to the LORD and HIS ways, are forever preserved for us to see, in the annals of Holy Scriptures.
And even though their messages were not largely heeded, during the days that they themselves walked along the stage of human life (and still are not largely heeded today), that, never stopped them from performing their “personally assigned creation roles” from the GOD in Heaven, WHO sent them.
GOD’s servants, and HIS followers, will always suffer in a world that is totally averse to HIS Will and HIS ways. Originally, GOD planted Israel into the world to be “a beacon of light”, to HIS world, which had long ago fallen into darkness. Israel went on to fail GOD on practically every level, and they, instead, began to desire the ways of the world, that they themselves, had been expected to positively influence.
The Apostle Paul often referred to “Salvation” as clothing for the righteous, and even JESUS used that analogy in several of HIS parables. JESUS referred to the righteous as “guests” who were clothed in special garments that were provided by the host (Matthew 22:11-14). Being dressed in such garments showed that that person was “an invited guest” having a full right to join the celebration.
Here in Isaiah 61, verses 8-11, we see the prophet Isaiah announce that “a justice loving GOD”, WHO, hates robbery and wrongdoing, will faithfully reward HIS people for their suffering here on earth. GOD will make an everlasting covenant, not only with those who suffer in this present generations, but HE will also bless their descendants in generations to come. Everyone will recognize GOD’s people by the way they have been blessed (Vs.8-9).
Isaiah was overwhelmed with joy in the LORD because he was “dressed with the clothing of Salvation”, and “draped in a robe of righteousness”. He felt like a bridegroom all dressed up in his wedding attire, or like a bride flossing in her jewelry (v.10). In verse 11 Isaiah gives us this message from the LORD, saying, “The sovereign LORD will show HIS justice to the nations of the world”.
GOD is a lover of justice, and injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere. GOD calls on “HIS greatest creation”, mankind, to hate unfair treatment of anyone at any time, in any place on earth. Living GOD’s way requires that we apply justice, and insist on creating a moral society for ourselves, and also leaving a pattern of GODly examples for our children, and all future generation to follow.
In Isaiah 62:1-4, the prophet prays for his beloved Israel. Here he proclaims; “Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. Kings will be blinded by your glory. And the LORD will give you a new name. The LORD will hold you in HIS hands for all to see --- a splendid crown in the hands of GOD. Never again will you be called “the GOD forsaken City” or “the Desolate Land”. Your new name will be “the City of GOD’s Delight” and “the Bride of GOD”, for the LORD delights in you and will claim you as HIS OWN” (NLT).
Here Isaiah continues to maintain a sense of joy as he commits himself to continued prayer for a fallen Jerusalem until their day of deliverance comes. Perhaps this prayer not only refers to Israel’s returned exiles, but also to future generations of Christians, even here in this 21st century. GOD has given HIS followers “a new name”, “Christians”, who extend well beyond the borders of Zion, and indeed, can be found, even in many remote places in the world today.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website