There is a saying in French, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”, meaning “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. King Solomon would nod his head in agreement, for he also wrote “there is nothing new under the sun”.
So, it is not surprising that almost 3000 years ago, the prophet Isaiah writing to national leaders in Judah, spent much of his energy preaching against bribery and corruption of judges – issues that are still of huge importance today.
Isaiah 5:21-23 (MSG Bible), in strong language says: “Doom to you who think you’re so smart, who hold such a high opinion of yourselves! All you’re good at is drinking—champion boozers who collect trophies from drinking bouts And then line your pockets with bribes from the guilty while you violate the rights of the innocent.”
God’s Word Translation (GW) Bible says: “How horrible it will be for those who think they are wise and consider themselves to be clever. How horrible it will be for those who are heroes at drinking wine, who are champions at mixing drinks, who declare the guilty innocent for a bribe, who take away the rights of righteous people.”
In Isaiah Chapter 5, the prophet makes it clear that the God of Israel does not approve of unjust leaders, and will hold them to account for their action. This is the same God we profess to worship in the Christian faith, and He holds all of us to the same standard. Thus, in our daily lives, do we deal with other people fairly?
May the Lord help us to have the strength to deal fairly with other people, black and white, female and male, poor and rich, Amen!