On Justice and the Kind of Life God Wants

I recently found this gem the other day and thought to share. While it's particularly important for Christians, I also think it's something everyone should consider. So it is from the book of Isaiah in the Bible. Basically, God told the prophet Isaiah to pass on a message to the Israelites. The Israelites always acted very pious, God said. They would go the Temple every day and even seem happy to learn about God. They carried themselves as though they would never abandon God and like they wanted to be near Him. And when there was silence from him, they would protest:

we have fasted!

we have been really hard on ourselves; denied ourselves of life's pleasures just to please you!

why are you NOT impressed, huh?!

why do you act like you don't notice?

Sounds familiar? I bet it does. You are fasting and praying. You serve in Church. You can quote the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. You can preach the devil back to hell. So what's up? Why does God not notice it?

Well that's because while you are fasting, you are exploiting and oppressing your workers. While you are fasting, you are fighting with the whole world, and keeping malice. So you do the rites, and fast for 150 of the 365 days in the year. But God is like, nah, that kind of fasting will get you nowhere. That kind of lifestyle really doesn't please him. What kind of fasting does he want, you ask.

"No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people. 
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help." Isaiah 58: 6-7

If you go on in that passage, it continues to say "THEN..." meaning after you do the above will you experience true healing; will your godliness lead you forward; will the glory of God protect you. It is THEN that the Lord will quickly (it specifies) answer your call.  When you feed the hungry, and help those in trouble, your light will shine out.

In other words, less of you and more of others. We can see that justice, mercy, and compassion matter to God a lot. And again, we see that hypocrisy really irritates God. I'll give another instance; this time in the new testament. Jesus was dragging the Pharisees and calling them hypocrites and stuff. And then he mentioned how they do everything right, they were careful to tick all the boxes. They would even tithe the tiniest income they earned. BUT, they would ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. I'm not even kidding, Jesus called those the MORE IMPORTANT [THAN TITHE] aspects of the law. He then reiterated that while tithing was and would always be important, justice, mercy, and faith were more important.

Coincidentally, I was just joking with my dad and sister recently that while no one person can be angry about all injustices, it's important and dare I say, it's our responsibility to care about justice. There has to be something; one thing you care about. Pick that one thing and run with it, in whatever capacity you can. Is it giving the less privileged? Maybe this year instead of another useless birthday photo-shoot, you can instead ask your friends to give on your behalf? Someone on Twitter once suggested calling your local school(board) and asking to offset some lunch debt for kids. Maybe it's your time you can give: to your own family, your friends. Something...just remember God really cares about it.  Also remember you can't just consistently live for yourself and yourself alone.



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