“Justice is turned back and righteousness stands far away, for truth has stumble in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.”
– Isaiah 59:14
When I read this verse, in my culture, in my country, my heart is humbled to see this picture of what happens among people when justice is turned back, when righteousness stands far away, when truth, the language there, “Stumbles in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter.”
Isaiah 59:14 Warns Us of Leaving God’s Word
I just see so many things in my culture, and the country around me where we have left the truth of God’s word behind, where we’ve redefined terms, relationships, redefined what’s right and wrong according to our ways, instead of God’s ways, where righteousness is not lauded as what is most important, where so many other things, power, money, prestige, humor, athleticism, particular talents, so many different things in the world that we exalt people for, apart from righteousness, and truth, and uprightness.
When God’s truth is spurned in the public square, and in our own lives, the results are disastrous.
But it’s not even just in my culture or my country. I see the tendencies toward this in the church and in my own life, that if we’re not careful, we can just focus on that which is most pleasing to us. We can exalt leaders in the church apart from uprightness in those leaders. I see a tendency to ignore justice. I see compromises with unrighteousness all around me, and so I’m just driven to pray.
This Verse Praises God’s Mercy for Us
I would lead us to pray. God, have mercy on us. In our lives, in your church, and in the culture, the country around us, whatever country we might be in, we are a sinful people. We turn away from justice. We exalt unrighteousness. God, we are prone to take pleasure in unrighteousness. We take your truth and we redefine it according to our thoughts, and we don’t value holiness like we should. God, help us. We pray, please have mercy on us. Turn us back to justice. Help us to exalt righteousness. May truth, your truth, your word reign in the public square, and may we value, pursue holiness and uprightness, before you and before one another.
God, have mercy on us. We pray toward that end, in Jesus’ name. Amen.