I read in my local paper today that Justice is Denied to the Poor. That’s not a big shocker. I’m pretty sure that you understand if you are poor, you get treated as less since you can’t afford as much as those with more. People with no money can’t afford good representation, while people with much money can sometimes get themselves acquitted if their connections are good enough.
What strikes me is my recent studies in the book of Isaiah concerning the prophecies of a future kingdom. It is the poor and the meek who are made one of the Messiah’s chief concerns in this future, Messianic Kingdom. Justice will be provided to the poor and meek instead of being denied to them as is currently being done. Consider Isaiah 11:4, which is located in the midst of a highly Messianic passage.
But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
The poor will get to walk all over the backs of those who previously tread them down. Isaiah 25:5-6 is in the midst of an apocalyptic passage that many like to call Isaiah’s little apocalypse.
5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
I have blogged about Isaiah 29 before, but these verses hit home in a new way when we study what God’s plan is for the poor, the meek, and now even the handicapped. Yes, the handicapped are considered poor by the world’s economy. I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise to you either. Read what God’s Word says about His future plans for them.
18 And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. 19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. 20 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off.
Think of the many throughout the world with no fresh, running water. Does God care? Read His future plans in Isaiah 41.
17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
I would love to write an entire post on Isaiah 58. Israel enters the true fast. At some future point in time, Israel’s repentance will be genuine accompanied by fasting, Joel 2. When Israel finally "gets it", this fasting will include fair treatment to the poor. Israel will enter the Messianic Kingdom where social distinctions are done away with. Read how Israel’s light will break forth.
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward. 9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: 11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
Psalm 72 describes the Messianic Kingdom with several references to fair treatment for the poor. The children of the needy are saved, their oppressors are broken in pieces, and any who have no helper are saved from violence. Psalm 82 echoes similar themes with fair warning to those who were currently perverting the judgement of the poor. It’s a powerful picture of God standing present with them just about ready to arise as judge to inherit all the nations of the earth. His big complaint? Justice was being denied to the poor, the fatherless, the afflicted, and the needy.
When Jesus stepped into time, and then into His anointed ministry, He began fulfilling the prophecies concerning the poor in the midst of His ministry. Although the Kingdom was not ushered in with the prophesied apocalypse, His ministry did bring the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God through repentance. When we enter the Kingdom, we are forsaking this present world in favor of a future kingdom, or a city whose builder and maker is the LORD. Our assemblies consist of citizens of the future kingdom currently living under His rule, even though the world at large does not recognize His authority. We have repented and recognize it in advance.
But if we truly recognize His authority, we will hear how the prophecies concerning the poor can be put into practice today. I ran across this thought provoking article which deals with some of the issues I raise here.
There is coming a day when justice will no longer be denied to the poor. But we can do our best to make sure that our efforts do not add to the current list of complaints that the LORD has against this world. And we can further reach out to the poor by admitting that any social status we think we have, we surrendered at the cross.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman