Isaiah 33: Fighting Oppression
Posted by Zak Schmoll
In the middle of Isaiah 33, we are given images of two kinds of people. Basically, we are contrasting people who are living lives of sin and people who are living lives of righteousness.
Isa 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Isa 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;
Isa 33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.
Verse 15 is the one that stood out to me. These are some characteristics of people who are following God the way that they should. I thought that the third one was particularly interesting. As we are following God, we shouldn’t want some people to gain that the expense of others. Sometimes we can get into thinking that if something doesn’t directly affect us, it isn’t our problem. Admittedly, it is much easier to avoid the conflict and decide that it simply isn’t my problem. However, at least from this list of characteristics, we ought to care about injustice as Christians and followers of the one true God.
What does that look like in reality?
Social justice is a buzzword today, but I think that sometimes that term is a little bit misunderstood, so I am just going to say that in reality, if we are worrying about the people who are being oppressed, we are loving our neighbors. That’s the basic answer to the question. When we love people, we want what is best for them, and oppression is certainly not best for anyone.
This is exactly why you see Christian ministries involved in so many humanitarian causes around the world. Obviously, we care about spreading the Gospel, and that really is the most important thing that we could tell anyone. However, we also care about helping people. Think about Jesus. He certainly did His share of preaching and teaching, but He was also here to help people in their earthly conditions.