“Your rulers will no longer oppress you; I will make them rule with justice and peace”.
Isa 60:17 GNB
Some years ago, an International Criminal Court was set up in the Hague, Netherlands. It was intended to hear cases of injustice and crime on the part of politicians. It has had plenty of material to deal with. Far too many rulers are happy to abuse the power entrusted to them by the constitution of their country and oppress the weak and the poor of their people. To read that it happened to the Israelites centuries before Christ is a salutary pointer to the permanent fact of human fallibility. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Anyone can endure affliction. But if you really want to test a person, give him some power”. Injustice abounds in many countries in the twenty-first century. And many countries are governed in ways that do not make for peace for the simple reason that “power corrupts”. And in many countries the main ruler has “absolute power”.
Isaiah knew that if it was left to the humans injustice would be bound to assert itself, and peace would be a rare outcome of the misrule that would be normal. But in Isaiah’s view of the future of Israel God would not leave it to the devices of human rulers. God himself would “make them rule” with justice and peace. He was himself the author of justice and a God of peace. And justice and peace were part of God’s will for his people.
In understanding the political climate of their own countries, Christian believers should use these two criteria to assess rulers and potential rulers. And it is a Christian duty to do so. Translated into practical terms love becomes justice and peace.
Lord, let our country be ruled with justice and peace.