Comfort when Justice is Withheld

justiceMost of us are well familiar with Isaiah 40:28-31, the “those who trust in the Lord will renew your strength” passage.

Do you not know? Have you not heard?

Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth.

He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding.

He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless.

Youths may faint and grow weary, and young men stumble and fall,

But those who trust in the LORD will renew their strength;

they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.

But I had never, until this last Saturday, seen the context of the verse before it, verse 27, which adds a new dimension: that powerful God arrayed against injustice.

Jacob, why do you say, and Israel, why do you assert: “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my claim is ignored by my God”? (HCSB)

O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? (NLT)

Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? (NIV)

Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? (KJV)

Claim. Troubles. Rights. Cause. Judgment.

This God who gives strength to the powerless, who never grows weak and from whom no understanding escapes…this God has seen the injustice in your life.

He has not neglected you. He has not dismissed you. He has not ignored you, or simply had his attention pulled elsewhere.

There is no denying that he operates on a different timetable. I do not know why he chooses to avert some injustices entirely (how many has he done for you?), wait days for some, years for others, and until the next life for still more. That information is above my pay grade.

But Isaiah 40 speaks to his character. Knowledge of that character, not our vindication, is the prize here. Getting a favorable ruling is only a temporary fix; we might shrug and walk away from God, forgetting all he has done. “Thanks God, see you next crisis.” But assimilating the knowledge of his character, letting it sink deep into our heart and bones – that feeds us for a lifetime.

I want to believe in the brilliance of his timing and the totality of his vision. We know we can count on God to see – to see the injustices inflicted upon us, hear our cries, mend our wounds. He will make all things right in the end.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.

Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:4-5)

14 thoughts on “Comfort when Justice is Withheld

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