Science Fiction usually uses one of two themes. The first is that technology has made everything so much better that the world is an awesome place. Somehow, trouble arises even in this idyllic land and they find a way to deal with it. The second theme is that technology has allowed the evil ones to get a firmer grip on society and the evil overlords are overthrown mainly by those who can use the technology, but rely on a pure spirit. As we look at those two themes, and there are others of course, we see that they reflect life in general and that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
The writings of Isaiah covered a wide swath of time. Still, the governments during the time of Isaiah were not the most godly in their rule. Much of the book of Isaiah alternated between the hope given by God and the despair caused by the rule of evil rulers. As Isaiah observed the struggles for leadership in his world, he made an observation that many could understand today. “No one calls for justice; no one pleads a case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.” (Isaiah 59:4)
The struggle in our political world is all about power. Justice is not an outcome, it’s a weapon used to manipulate people into following their cause. Attorneys cry for justice for their clients, then laugh when they get them off even when they know they’re guilty. Others cry “justice for all” and use their solution of justice to oppress others. How to deal with political issues depends on who is in power. If “we” are in power, what they are crying about is not an issue. If “they” are in power, then that same issue is the world’s biggest concern. Just as in Isaiah’s day, justice and integrity have been replaced by empty arguments and lies. Then, we who have depended on the political system to make the world better wonder why the world is so evil and in so much trouble.
What is a person who follows Christ to think? Or do? As dark a picture as Isaiah 59 paints of our world and our political system, the ending is one of hope. God will send a Redeemer. As followers of Christ, we know who that Redeemer is. But, if God has already sent a Redeemer and things are still this bad, what do we do? We are always given the responsibility to call for Justice in our world. Justice, not to be used as a weapon to bludgeon the other side, but as an outcome to seek because we are, hopefully, on God’s side. We are to maintain our integrity in all that we do. If our relationship with Jesus is important for everyday life, it is important in our interactions in society. That being said, we must always remember that Jesus never attacked the down and out, He showed them mercy and grace. His strongest rebukes were reserved for those in power who thought that they had a handle on God and could direct God’s thoughts. We are called to give grace and mercy to the down and out; the sinners of this world. We are also called to invite the leaders of this world who would ignore the claims of Jesus into a relationship with Jesus Christ. This relationship should cause them to seek justice and to speak with integrity.
Oh Lord, it’s easy to look at the political side of this world and sneak back into our shells. Keep me from doing that. At the same time, keep me from falling so far in love with any political leader or party that I “baptize” whatever they do because they are the better person/candidate. Give me the strength and integrity to fight for Justice in Your name and to call any errant official to repentance.