My late paternal grandfather was a thoughtful person and storyteller. He would tell stories of his life as a young man and draw out lessons from his successes and failures. My grandfather’s lessons on marriage and family still speaks to me many years after his death; I find them relevant as I work on being a good husband and father.
The message of the Prophet Isaiah, written 3000 years ago, still speaks today. In the 66 Chapters of the book of Isaiah, we see him speaking against bad leaders, and speaking up for justice and compassion. Isaiah is easy to understand when we read The Message Bible (MSG) version freely available online at Bible Gateway.
In Chapter 1:13-17 (shortened) Isaiah gives a message from God: “I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion… No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody… Clean up… Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out. Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless.”
This is a powerfully relevant message for people everywhere today – from the USA to Brazil; Britain to France; Saudi Arabia to China; Cameroon to Zimbabwe.
Yes, Isaiah also speaks of the coming of the Messiah, Jesus – he speaks of a time when Jesus will rule on earth with justice, and compassion for the weak; but before that time comes, Isaiah speaks to you and I to: learn to do good, work for justice, help the downtrodden-homeless-defenseless people we come across in 2019.
May the Lord help us respond positively to Isaiah’s message, Amen!