“He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed. So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.” – Isaiah 59:16 (NLT)
Human history is littered with just causes and noble campaigns that have fallen by the wayside. Popular support eventually peters out … financial backers gradually lose interest … the winds of trend shift with the passing of time … new generations signal new sets of priorities. Any movement for justice that is solely dependent upon popular support is not likely to be sustained beyond a flashing moment in time.
What differentiates a moment of justice from a movement of justice is the self-sustainability of the justice movement.
Reconstruction in America was superseded by Jim Crow laws, but there are those who are still ready and willing to fight for racial equality in America. Peace efforts appears to have taken a back seat to the current escalation of military armaments, but the warriors for peace have not yet abandoned the battlefields of national debate. Affordable health care for the masses has been roundly disparaged and dismantled by the majority in the U.S. Congress, but those who are dedicated to the promotion of universal health care are by no means dissuaded.
According to Isaiah, when God’s agent of justice could find no one to support the justice cause, that agent took up the cause himself, and he was sustained in his work by his own passion for righteousness.
During the heat of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, someone asked a black woman walking to work, “Aren’t you tired?” She responded, “My feet are tired, but my soul is rested.”
Lord, let the righteous passions you place within us generate the power we need to persevere in all seasons. Amen.
Stillspeaking Small Group Discussion
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.