Justice, Judgment & Mercy – Part 1
A Study of Isaiah 59-61
“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.” Isaiah 59:1-4
Our study for the next few days will look into Isaiah’s prophetic word to Israel in chapters 59-61.
Though God had favored Israel time and again they would continually forget His great works on their behalf and resort to their broken ungodly hedonistic ways. They would forsake truth and His laws, then when they’d finally run out of all else they would call on Him to rescue them and wonder why He would not intervene on their behalf. So God sent a message to them through the prophet.
He’s says to them, your circumstance isn’t the way it is because God is somehow limited in reaching you. He is not restricted or restrained in touching you or hearing your prayers.
The breach between them was the result of their iniquities, and their sins had created a veil so to speak that had caused His face to be hidden from them and He would not hear them. He goes on to say their hands are defiled with blood, which is an idiom for they have committed murder and their fingers have formed devices to exercise their iniquities. Iniquities, sins and transgressions are each violations of the laws of God but they differ in fundamental ways.
Sins are acts that break the laws of God but are not necessarily intentional or premeditated. Sin happens when we are drawn away by our own lusts and enticed. We can fall into sin without much thought just by following our basic nature to sin and yielding to temptation.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” James 1:14
Transgression — wrong doing, a violation of the law; to go beyond the established boundary; rebellion
Transgressions are deliberate acts of sin despite foreknowledge of the law that prohibits such action of violation. Transgressions proceed from the heart, from an inner desire to do whatever satisfies the rebellious nature of the transgressor.
Iniquities are sins of such wickedness and such deep nature that they proceed from the very core of the heart. They are transgressions of a particularly egregious nature. They are acute injustices. Slavery, the Holocaust, chemical weapons used on innocent people, violence against children and all evil actions motivated by intense hate, all these are iniquities.
Now Isaiah declares to them that they are covered in the stain of their iniquities and their words are likewise filled with perverseness. This is no mean or trivial indictment against them. The level and enormity of the offences are such that God turned His ear away from them, because among them there was no one standing back from the culture of evil to gain a true perspective and calling on God to intervene and restore righteousness and justice. No one was defending the cause of the innocent or praying for truth to be heard and heeded.
Vanity, lies and continuous mischief and upheaval are all they care about.
We live in times that are not far from those of the days of Isaiah. The truth of God’s Word has been abandoned even in the highest court of our land. Every man looks to his own “law” unto himself and many have chosen vanity and mischief as their gods. The lie is lifted up as truth and no one is made accountable for their words. Libel and slander have been forgotten as indictable offenses against the law of the land.
Evil in the guise of “inclusion” and “diversity,” has corrupted the concepts of people of different backgrounds and ethnicities living in community with a common sense of values and allegiances, to now becoming a militant demand that everyone’s values and morals must now be compromised or abandoned and their set of rebellious rules be embraced by everyone so as not to offend those who are now in rebellion against the laws of God.
The iniquities of many have separated the people from God and His righteousness. For this reason God’s favor cannot rest on the nation but for the sake of the Church of Jesus Christ. Justice, God’s justice, still stands sure and pure.
“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
God will never abandon His Church and He has given all judgment to the SON.