January 19, 2016

The God Who Establishes Justice

Isaiah 42:1- 9

My servant . . . will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.

—  Isaiah 42:1-4

Martin Luther King’s birthday is an important civil holiday in the United States. I think most countries today are not sure whether they are making progress or slipping backwards in ­establishing a just society. But we must not give up the struggle, and we must always keep our eyes on the goal, as Martin Luther King did. In this he was a servant of the Lord.

Back in 1917, there were many who hoped the Russian Revolution and the new Soviet Union would usher in a just society. But, as the author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn showed, there was endless infighting and bloodshed between various factions to gain power for their interpretation of communism. Finally, in 1991, the dream of a just Soviet society through communism died, exhausted, no closer to the goal.

No one should gloat over communism’s failure. It is a difficult, discouraging struggle to try to establish justice under any form of government. The words of Isaiah 26:18 tell the sad story: “We were with child, we writhed in labor, but we gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth.”

Let’s hope we’ve learned not to sneer at the Bible’s promise of a new heaven and new earth, as the communists did. The true Servant of the Lord “will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth.”

In everyday life and in ­political life, O Lord, give us courage, strength, wisdom, and hope as we strive for justice. May we act like Christ and long for his coming. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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