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Speaking up for those who can't

Si Walker, 30th April 2016

A bundle of papers

There's a theme of justice in the Bible that I have seen while looking at Isaiah with our CYFA group.

God says that he is against his people in Isaiah and will send them into exile in Babylon:

'They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.' Isaiah 1:23

Wow, to my shame, I don't think about justice issues nearly enough.

'God tells us all of the kinds of issues he is concerned about in his Word'

This verse is principally addressed to the leader's of Israel, but it raises a question for us all about whether we are those who speak up for those who can't speak up for themselves.

We might be powerless for an extended period, or perhaps just for a time.

For example:

  • we have a disability or a mental health issue
  • we are unwell
  • we are in an abusive relationship
  • we are grieving
  • we don't have a good education or social 'know how'
  • we are in debt
  • because of our age
  • we don't speak the language or know the culture

I'm sure their are many other causes. God tells us all of the kinds of issues he is concerned about in his Word.

The Scriptures say that it is a wonderful thing when someone comes alongside and speaks up for us.

'Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.' Isaiah 1:17

In a small way, I can remember friends who have helped me when I have felt a creeping sense of powerlessness to change my situation. In my early 20's I was repeatedly let down by an organisation and I remember the sense of relief when a friend who understood the situation wrote to them to take up my case. That friend managed to get justice for me.

'I can remember friends who have helped me when I have felt a creeping sense of powerlessness to change my situation'

Who is it that you could speak up for in order to show the compassion of Jesus?

You might not feel you can do much, but by coming alongside you are standing with the person and doing a Jesus-like thing. You are strengthening their arm, perhaps, helping them lift up their head, which might feel like a big thing to them.

'Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways so that we may walk in his paths.' Isaiah 2:3

Praise God that he is the original advocate of the weak.