We rely on what we are told. Right?! Our parents’ words are the first we trust. If our parents took us to church, we also learned to trust God. Teachers of reading and writing were the next trustworthy adults in our lives. In higher education, we were introduced to all kinds of opinions about the world in which we live and how to live well in it. Now we have choices. Later, we then have bosses in the vocation we chose to tell us how to behave, what to do and how to do it. Coupled with all that we have the media that demands our attention left and right. Yes, we can turn the tv off, but we cannot escape the worldview thinking expressed and passed on by everyone we meet and relate to with each new day. Who is right? What is right? Where is peace?
Humans today think they are coming up with new ways of perverted sin—but sin in all kinds of forms have been ugly with resulting death since Adam and Eve and will continue until Jesus comes back for the final sweep of justice. “A king will rule in the right way, and his leaders will carry out justice,” Isaiah shouts from God. God will make all things right and good, safe and quiet, full of peace. God has a Plan.
With justice comes peace, says God to His People. “No more will fools become celebrities, nor crooks be rewarded with fame.” Imagine no more political ads that slander each other without telling what each candidate stands for with what they will do to bring justice in all areas of their elected jurisdictions! Imagine no more commercials, billboards, texts, or emails using fear with “bait and switch” to motivate us to part with our hard-earned wages that provide for our daily needs. Imagine no more lies that dissolve all trust. Imagine no more exploitation of the poor to lift the rich up in the eyes of the world.
Now, imagine getting along with each other all because of the love of Jesus in us. Imagine asking for God’s wisdom then trusting what He says and doing it!
Isaiah 32, The Message
Safe Houses, Quiet Gardens
1-8 But look! A king will rule in the right way,
and his leaders will carry out justice.
Each one will stand as a shelter from high winds,
provide safe cover in stormy weather.
Each will be cool running water in parched land,
a huge granite outcrop giving shade in the desert.
Anyone who looks will see,
anyone who listens will hear.
The impulsive will make sound decisions,
the tongue-tied will speak with eloquence.
No more will fools become celebrities,
nor crooks be rewarded with fame.
For fools are fools and that’s that,
thinking up new ways to do mischief.
They leave a wake of wrecked lives
and lies about God,
Turning their backs on the homeless hungry,
ignoring those dying of thirst in the streets.
And the crooks? Underhanded sneaks they are,
inventive in sin and scandal,
Exploiting the poor with scams and lies,
unmoved by the victimized poor.
But those who are noble make noble plans,
and stand for what is noble.
* * *
9-14 Take your stand, idle women!
Listen to me!
Indulgent, idle women,
listen closely to what I have to say.
In just a little over a year from now,
you’ll be shaken out of your lazy lives.
The grape harvest will fail,
and there’ll be no fruit on the trees.
Oh tremble, you idle women.
Get serious, you pampered dolls!
Strip down and discard your silk fineries.
Put on funeral clothes.
Shed honest tears for the lost harvest,
the failed vintage.
Weep for my people’s gardens and farms
that grow nothing but thistles and thornbushes.
Cry tears, real tears, for the happy homes no longer happy,
the merry city no longer merry.
The royal palace is deserted,
the bustling city quiet as a morgue,
The emptied parks and playgrounds
taken over by wild animals,
delighted with their new home.
15-20 Yes, weep and grieve until the Spirit is poured
down on us from above
And the badlands desert grows crops
and the fertile fields become forests.
Justice will move into the badlands desert.
Right will build a home in the fertile field.
And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace
and the progeny of Right: quiet lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood—
in safe houses, in quiet gardens.
The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,
the city showing off your power leveled.
But you will enjoy a fortunate life,
planting well-watered fields and gardens,
with your farm animals grazing freely.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
“The King” Isaiah is talking about is of course, Jesus! Our response will be to bow down to Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords! We must confess our faith in Him and say with assurance that He is “our King.” In contrast to the evil rulers of Isaiah’s day the Messiah will reign in righteousness and justice. In addition, the King will be like a rock of refuge for the people and like a refreshing river in the desert. Yes, Jesus is OUR King!
In the kingdom of God, there will be no deception. Not only will liars and cheaters’ character and motives be exposed and judged, but so will their ungodly methods. No longer will the poor and helpless be cheated by these liars. Our response? Praise and thanksgiving the One and Only who makes all things right and good!
And where there’s Right, there’ll be Peace—
“Righteousness” is the key word in verse 17, for true peace only comes through a right relationship with God. When sinners trust Christ and receive the gift of righteousness, then they can have peace in their hearts and peace with one another.
What do you choose, how will you respond? Pray, listen, then choose wisely.
You are the One and Only who is holy and makes us right with You. Come into our hearts, minds and souls and cleanse us, washing away all that offends you. Then transform us daily to be all you created us to be before we do what you say. Thank you, Lord, for making us right with You. Thank you for the peace that dwells in us in all circumstances when we put all our trust in you.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen