Today’s Reading: Isaiah 42:1-7
Daily Lectionary: Ezekiel 36:13-28; Romans 4:1-25
A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. (Isaiah 42:3)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Nobody wants justice except the wounded, the trampled on, and the sinned against. Everyone quotes “judge not, lest ye be judged,” but “an eye for an eye” is the verse we really have in mind. The broken want their pound of flesh. Someone told me God didn’t give us the “eye for an eye” verse to set a minimum on punishments, but rather to place upper limits on them. It wasn’t that He was worried that we’d be too lenient with each other. He was worried we’d be too harsh. Makes sense.
Our Lord promises to open the eyes that are blind to the justice I want. There is a sad state of affairs down here, where we’ve so lost track of sin that we don’t know whether it was the blind man or his parents who sinned. But I think God wants to open the blind eyes taken in judgment. I think He wants the eye taken for an eye restored. I think this because the Lord promises justice with one breath, and with the next, promises to free the prisoners, who don’t deserve it. He will bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison. There is no justice in bringing out the prisoners. Justice by the Law does not let loose the prisoners. The Gospel does that.
Our Lord’s promise is not to break those who’ve broken you. It’s that He will not break the bruised reed. He will not crush the sinners, but will bring forth justice all the same. It’s the Gospel. Wrong was done and needs to be punished. Jesus would bear the cost Himself in the name of justice. Your pound of flesh was paid on the Cross. He died that you would live. And not just you: There is enough justice here for your enemy, too. Look. See their sins punished. See your God’s mercy, not just as a guilt trip so you will forgive them as well, but as a promise of mercy that doesn’t rest on your heart’s being pain-free. Mercy rests on His promise. Your sins are forgiven you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Harrison Goodman
Thine the kingdom Thine the prize Thine the wonder full surprise Thine the banquet then the praise Then the justice of Thy ways Thine the glory Thine the story Then the welcome to the least Then the wonder all increasing at Thy feast at Thy feast. (Thine the Amen, Thine the Praise, LSB 680:4)