Speaking Up for the Poor
At the beginning of Isaiah, God’s people in Jerusalem have decided to do whatever they want. They noticed the way their surrounding nations are living and have set up laws and rules that benefit the rich and are all about getting on the top. And Isaiah is upset. The very rules God put in place to protect the poor and widows were being used to keep them at the bottom.
In Isaiah 1:16-17, Isaiah—God’s prophet—pleads with the people: Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. Isaiah is upset because God’s people had joined the “get ahead world” and forgot to take care of those at the bottom—the people God cared about.
Isaiah’s call for a return to justice is for us, too. Although there are both government and non-profit programs put in place to assist people who are homeless, poor, hungry, and widows today, it isn’t enough. Isaiah’s call for justice for the Israelites is also our call for justice in our neighborhood. The woman sitting on the corner, the man who won’t eat dinner, and the child who doesn’t have shoes to wear are just as much God’s children as you are.
In 1 Timothy 6:18 you are reminded to put [your] hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for [your] enjoyment . . . Do good, be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. Knowing this, how can you use what God has given you to bless someone else? How can you take what you have and speak up for the poor, homeless, and widows? Follow Isaiah’s words and stand up for those who don’t have a voice in today’s world.
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