Day 10

Woe to Oppressive Jerusalem

from the reading plan

Zephaniah 3:1-20, Isaiah 30:18, Hebrews 7:22-28

It’s almost weekly that we hear of some new corruption scandal—a man or woman in a position of power preying on the weak and vulnerable. It’s maddening. It’s nauseating. These stories of oppression and injustice tempt us to lose our faith in God’s providential governance of our world. Where is justice? Where is God?

Today’s injustices are not unlike the situation in ancient Israel, where leaders acted like wolves under the cover of darkness, devouring the innocent and leaving nothing but waste for morning (Zephaniah 3:3). Yet Scripture reminds us that God remains just. He “applies his justice morning by morning; he does not fail at dawn” (v.5). We set our hope in His ability to set things right, knowing He is the only one who can.

Learning to trust God while being treated unfairly demonstrates faith. It is acting by waiting. It is patiently believing God will act at the right time and in the right way. It is clinging to the words of the prophet Isaiah: “The LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God. All who wait patiently for him are happy“ (30:18).

The need to trust God in the midst of injustice and suffering is no different today than it was in ancient Israel. Even our best leaders are flawed, and our worst leaders can be tyrants. The presence of unfit and unrighteous leaders generates longing for the one true leader who will bring about perfect justice. Jesus is that perfect leader. He not only seeks justice but is able to bring it to His people. With His first coming, He established His rule—the kingdom has come. It is already here. Yet the full experience of His kingdom, of His perfect rule, lies in the hope of His future return, when everything will be set right forever.

As we wait in the night, let us be reminded that the Son has come, and is coming again. And when He returns, it will be the dawn of a new age when justice and righteousness will prevail forever. A new age in which our present earthly rulers will seem but frail shadows when compared to the perfect rule of the Son, who will shine brighter than we can imagine.

Written by Matt Capps

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