SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
We love God by seeking justice for all people
Key Verse: I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations. – Isaiah 42:6
Brace yourself. This lesson may be like a punch in your solar plexus. It demands that we examine not only how we treat people, but how we care about any person who is mistreated.
Christians believe the servant whom Isaiah describes is Jesus. Our Lord was the Suffering Servant sent by God, according to Isaiah, to establish justice in the earth. Reflect for a moment on what Isaiah said:
<![if !supportLists]>1. <![endif]>He will “faithfully bring forth justice.”
<![if !supportLists]>2. <![endif]>He will “bring forth justice to the nations.”
<![if !supportLists]>3. <![endif]>He will not “grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth.”
Who said that? God said it. Not just any god but “God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out. . . .”
Since God said it, you can count on it. It will be done.
Has it been done? No, not yet. Justice has not yet been established in all the earth.
How did Isaiah say it would be accomplished? Today’s scripture verses help us understand how. The power comes from God – “ I have taken you by the hand and kept you.”
God made his servant “a light to the nations.” That light, actually “the Light of the World,” will shine in the darkness and reveal wrong and sin.
That light, His light, will “open the eyes that are blind.” Let us stop for a moment to reflect on that reality. Jesus opens blind eyes. In his flesh he caused blind men to see. As the Resurrected Lord, he has for centuries opened the eyes of the blind.
I know because He opened my eyes. That is one of the great ministries of the Lord Jesus – to open the blind eyes of Christians. For years after I trusted Jesus as my Savior, I was blind to the injustice being inflicted upon others. Then Jesus opened my eyes and made me realize that he expects his people, his servants, to help him establish justice in the earth.
When Jesus opens our eyes we discover that we cannot love God and ignore the people anywhere who are being denied justice. The Spirit motivates us to find ways to do something about injustice. We cannot sit idly by in our prayer meetings and shut our eyes to the ways people even in our own community are hurting.
We have to speak against injustice even if that means taking an unpopular stand. We have to do more than speak – we have to find ways to express love and mercy to “the prisoners” who “sit in darkness” waiting for someone to bring them light.
My friend Ron shared with me recently that his greatest desire is to help men NOT return to prison once they are released. So he goes to the county jail every Thursday night to teach interested men how to stay out of prison, how to become responsible Christian men. He shows them what they will need to do in order to make it “on the outside.” In a unique way Ron shows his love for God by helping hurting men beat the cultural system that makes it hard for them to be rehabilitated after imprisonment.
That is the way Ron is trying to help Jesus establish justice in the earth. Each of us must find a way to help, to respond to those all around us who are crying for justice.
It will be done. God keeps his promises. His Servant, our Living Lord, will not grow faith or be crushed until justice is available to all people. The only question for us is this: Will we, you and I, find the courage to do what we can to help people who are denied justice?
We will – if we love God. Otherwise our talk of loving God is phony. It is that simple.
So wrestle with it for moment: What are you doing to bring light to the people anywhere who are living in darkness?
+ + + (Contact Walter at email@example.com)