Mark Kelly writes at kainos:
“You reap what you sow” is a warning to Christians, not the lost. God’s own people reap a harvest of decay and death because they sowed seeds of apathy and self-absorption. When the apostle Paul says, “You cannot mock the justice of God,” he means that Christians who are too self-absorbed, preoccupied, and distracted to help people in need — and insist they will nonetheless inherit the riches of God’s kingdom — are mocking the one who reserves the Kingdom for those who help “the least of these my brothers and sisters.”
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An excellent bit of insight into Isaiah 56 from Peter Leithart at First Things on the fact that God’s salvation and his justice come to us hand in hand:
Leithart begins with a bit of word study on the Lord’s command for Israel to “guard judgment” (mishpat) and to “do justice” (zedaqah): “Guarding” judgment suggests a conservative, protective, preserving something already achieved; “doing” justice is more active, accomplishing something not yet achieved. The two go together: Unless Yahweh’s judgments are guarded and preserved, justice will not be done.
Leithart then points out that the prophet anticipates a “double parousia” — the advent of salvation and the “uncovering” of God’s justice: When God comes, He always does both; He always saves and does righteousness. His salvation is the bringing of justice, and His doing of justice delivers those afflicted by injustice.
When the apocalypse of justice comes, only those who have guarded judgment and practiced justice will stand. Only they will be delivered.
It’s an exhortation our churches today need badly to hear. Salvation delivers from captivity of every kind. Those of us who have experienced firsthand the justice of God’s redemption must give ourselves wholeheartedly to bringing his justice to the poor and oppressed.
Read the full piece by clicking here.