We are happy to welcome ministry-focused college and seminary students from around the country and overseas to write in June of 2020 for The Park Forum. Each of them is pursuing a career in ministry and received free coaching on their writing as a part of the program. For more information about the program and a profile of each of our student writers, visit our Student Writers Month page.
Today’s student writer is Tori Sherman, a student at Logsdon Seminary.
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 56.1
This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.”
Reflection: To Maintain Justice
By Tori Sherman
Our God is a God of justice. He asks his people to maintain the justice he originated. The world we live in is an unjust place, and amongst all the brokenness, our Lord desires for us to do what is right. God knows our sinful state of being warped towards evil, yet he still calls us to seek justice.
We should advocate for the oppressed, yet it does not come easy to stand up for the marginalized and facilitate justice. Our natural tendency is to go with the flow of the world around us. Despite this, God has shown time and time again that his response to injustice is to protect the suffering and punish the tyrants. Our God saves. (Psalm 10.17-18)
The dictionary defines salvation as “preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.” Salvation is an inheritance that never spoils. (1 Peter 1.4) The darkness of sin and wrongdoing is all around us. Yet, regardless if we are the ones causing the injustices and darkness or if we are the ones victimized, our Lord has come to deliver us from the harm and ruin of sin. This deliverance is a gift, an inheritance, that will never cease.
If the Lord knew humanity would be so corrupt, causing affliction to the oppressed, why did God save us? His salvation is close at hand, but do we deserve to be rescued? God saves because of his nature, not ours. This is the beauty of the gospel—the salvation the Lord gives to his people is one we have not earned, one we do not merit.
The offer of eternal life will never expire, so we can use the words of Isaiah to be encouraged to seek justice and plead for the oppressed—knowing our gift of salvation is close at hand. God’s desire is for us to choose righteousness. This demands his power rather than our own striving. That power can work through us if we choose this path to follow.
May we reach out, stand up, and rescue. May we fight injustice to bring light in the darkness and to do what is right unto the Lord.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Morning Psalm
But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; let them be merry and joyful.
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; exalt him who rides upon the heavens; Yahweh is his name, rejoice before him!
Father of orphans, defender of widows, God in his holy habitation! — Psalm 68.35
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle
Isaiah 56 (Listen – 2:11)
Matthew 4 (Listen – 3:09)
Read more about God’s Sufficient Justice
Some have abused the notion that human justice is incomplete as an excuse to cease pursuing justice on Earth. Some even call seeking justice anti-gospel.
Read more about In Denial about Injustice
The sins that brought God’s judgment and caused the exile of Israel were multi-faceted. But there is a common thread—injustice.