Isaiah 32:1-20

Practicing justice. When you think of the Holy Spirit empowering believers, what comes to mind? Extraordinary gifting such as the ability to heal, speak in tongues or prophesy about someone (1 Cor 12 &14)? Or perhaps to preach the gospel with boldness and efficacy even in the presence of real danger, to drive out evil spirits, and do extraordinary acts (Mk 6:6-13)? Or maybe the Spirit gives us assurance of our election as God’s children (Eph 1:13-14, Ro 8:14-16) and furthermore regenerates our hearts so that we are able to resist sin and undergo character change (Gal 5:16, 22-23)? These are all wonderful truths about the Holy Spirit. However, it might shock you to know that perhaps one of the most important characteristics of being empowered by the Spirit has to do with practicing justice. In fact, I would submit that living out the gospel and sustaining our church community may hinge on our understanding and practice of the concept of justice.

"Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress."
Isaiah 33:2

Isaiah33 2Think of the scariest moment went you have ever went through. When you felt your heart drop or sick to your stomach. I’ve had a few. One that comes to mind was when I was driving in pitch black through the smoking mountains. There were no signs and very few cars. My GPS kept on going in and out. I took a few wrong turns. I felt sick in the pit of my stomach. Imagine living like this every single day. Imagine multiplying the anxiety ten times as much. This is how Hezekiah and his people felt under the oppressive rule of King Sennacherib. Their anxiety intensifies as the Assyrian army lays siege over their city. At this time of great agony, Isaiah offers a prayer for God to be their salvation in times of trouble.

Key Verse 33:17

“Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.”

the king his beautyWilliam Shakespeare said “The eyes are the window to your soul”. What you see will influence your soul? What did the people in the times of Isaiah see? He described in Isaiah 9:2, “the land of deep darkness”. The period in which Isaiah lived was turbulent, oppressive and violent. He describes their souls as “walking in the darkness”.  Anyone tried walking in darkness? You certain stumble and fall. Isaiah could not do much for his people. All he could do was to help them look upward and see the king and his beauty. May God bless you to see the King and his beauty.