Is There No One to Intervene?

Text: Isaiah 69:15
He saw that there was no one, and was appalled that there was no one to intervene; so his own arm brought him victory, and his righteousness upheld him. (NRSV)

The prophet of God is writing about how God was appalled that there was no human being who was willing to stand in the gap and bring righteous justice to bear.  God intervened and brought the justice but, God had desired that it would have been done by someone else.

How often do I cry out to God for justice when I see no justice but, don’t bother to lift a finger to make it happen myself.  Is God “appalled” at my lack of response when I see people of color being treated differently than I am simply because they do not look like me, and I keep silent in my white privilege and power?  Does God cry over my prayers for Him to bring justice as I do nothing?

I used to sit on the Public Policy sub committee of the New Jersey Council of Churches (NJCC).  This is the committee that analyzes legislative and social issues of state-wide importance and, after analysis, recommends appropriate policies to the leadership of the NJCC.  In other words, this is the group that looks for systemic injustice in both federal and state legislation and seeks to speak truth to power in the name of Jesus.

What I found amazing, was that the legislators I would visit on behalf of the group would consider a topic of high importance when they received as few as 10 or 15 letters, phone calls, or emails about it.  Out of the thousands of people who are the constituents of these legislators, a “big deal” was a mere 10 or 15 contacts over an issue.  They usually received less.

When is the last time you saw an issue of injustice and after praying, contacted your legislator? When is the last time you sought to intervene on behalf of those suffering injustice?  Would God still be appalled “that there was no one to intervene”?

Pray with me:

God of righteousness and justice, God of the poor and the marginalized, God of liberation, forgive me when I see injustice all around me and yet do nothing to intervene on behalf of those whom you love.  When I pray to you about injustice, put a burden on my heart to take a stand and speak truth to power in order that your “justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).  AMEN.

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