When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!
Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Today’s verses are Isaiah’s prophecy to the Southern Kingdom of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. I don’t know how you read them…but if those were words spoken to me, I’d be shaking in my boots. It is pretty clear that God was not happy with his people. The corruption of their kings had spread far and wide and infected an entire nation. It appears as though this corruption was commonplace – and oppression of specific people groups was widely overlooked – even accepted.
It might be easy for us to sit back thousands of years later and think those words don’t apply to us… To read it as simply an account of what happened with little bearing on our lives today in 2022. But if we aren’t careful we might miss what God has for us to learn through them.
God gives some pretty specific instructions as to how the people of Judah can set things right. Learn to do right, seek justice, defend the oppressed, and take care of the orphans and widows. Seems pretty simple, right? Be kind to people. Do the right thing. But is it that simple? Or does it require a more careful examination of my life and the way I live it? Certainly it requires us to treat others like we would want to be treated but what does that actually look like in today’s world? Are there things we are missing?
I believe there are. So much is accessible to us in today’s world. You can pretty much have anything you want at the click of a button…for a fee of course…but at what cost? Do you know where the things you buy come from? Do you know how they are made and whose hands have done the work so that you can have it? Around the world there are people being taken advantage of, oppressed, and discriminated against – disguised by commerce and profit. Much of which we as consumers never even see…or think about. Maybe it is time that as followers of Christ we work to remove those disguises and expose things for what they are. To stand up and say it is no longer acceptable. By examining our habits and our purchases a little more closely we will no longer overlook things and will start making a change.
If you are a coffee drinker, why not buy coffee from a Fair Trade organization that partners with Set Free to sell coffee: www.camanoislandcoffee.com/setfree
Learn how to be a part of making a difference with Set Free in our community: https://crosscreekchurch.churchcenter.com/people/forms/379326