Isaiah 42:3-4 “A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
In his law the islands will put their hope.”
Since I minister in the islands of Japan, the last line of this has long been a favorite of mine. The first part of this has also been a good guide for ministry, since almost everyone I deal with is bruised or “smoldering” in some way. However, recent events have brought the middle part of this into sharp focus. The Internet has indeed brought about an information revolution, letting us know about things that in the past would have been kept hidden, and the depth of the corruption that has been coming out is mind boggling. When even politicians are astonished, you know it’s bad! It is important that those in the position to do so follow through on what is uncovered, and for the general public to maintain pressure for them to do so, but we need to remember than nothing has ever been hidden from God. Sometimes we forget that, and act like newscasters in our prayers “informing” God of what is going on. I think He smiles sometimes at that. This passage reassures us that no bad guy ever gets away with it in the end. Of course, we also need to remember that we ourselves are accountable not only for our actions but even for our words. (Matthew 12:36) God’s grace is essential for us all! That said, this passage should put us at ease about whether God will deal with “those guys.” God is holy and righteous and just, and He won’t stop until everything is in line with Him.
The past 10 years have seen a major shift in my awareness of politics in particular. At times I have been very stirred up over it all, and needed the reassurance in this passage. Thankfully my faith has continued to grow, and it’s much harder to get me upset. That said, I’m certainly not perfect yet. I’m not to be passive about all that is going on, but add my prayers to those of all the saints who desire to see God’s name alone acknowledged as holy and His kingdom come as His will is done. I’ve got to remember that as far as I’m concerned, justice and righteousness and holiness start with me, and allow the Holy Spirit to shine His light on every place where I fall short, so that I may repent and be cleansed. God told me personally over 20 years ago that there are many things in the world He’s not currently happy about, but He’s got it all in control, and the end will be gloriously perfect. Again as He has told me, my job is to rest, relax, and rejoice!
Father, thank You for being God indeed. Help me never forget that for a moment, but rather delight to be Your child, seeking only to “see You more clearly, love You more dearly, follow You more nearly,” as the song says. May Your will be done in and through me, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!