And the effect of righteousness will be peace,

and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever.

Isaiah 32: 17

 

Isaiah lived in difficult times. Those were not peaceful days, and the concept of the sort of quietness that is being discussed here was not known. The leaders of the nation were quarrelsome and rancorous with themselves and with the world round them. Judah’s internal problems had disabled its ability to be what God had intended for it to be and to do all that the Lord had ordained for it to accomplish in the world. Instead of being God’s own hands and feet of reconciliation, truth giving, and justice, they were defensive, self-serving, oppressive, and profane. They were in very real need of the sort of revival of their faith that Isaiah was sent to proclaim, for they needed to turn away from their focus on self-reliance and enter into repentance before the Lord and seek out His righteous path for themselves and for their nation. That is why Isaiah is looking ahead in these words to the effect that the coming of Christ will have.

 

The description of the world above could be said of and about our own world and the days in which we live. We are in a period of almost unheard of anger, frustration, and unrelenting drive to see personal objectives met at the expense of true care and concern for the cause of peace, justice, and truth. There is little that is said or done by our leaders that is worthy of any sort of praise or that is truly in alignment with God’s call to govern righteously and justly. I fear that this last statement is true regardless of political affiliation or nationality. We live in a time where people have determined to go their own ways with such defensive stridency that there is no longer room for reason or civility in their engagement with each other. So, it seems that almost all of the real responsibilities and the moral mandates of governance are being set aside and even abolished for the sake of all of this posturing and power seeking behavior. We live in a world wherein our public figures and governmental leaders are no longer fit role models for us to consider.

 

It would seem that we all need to turn in the direction that Isaiah was indicating so that we move away from the caustic and abrasive approach to handling conflict and difference of ideology that is pervasive in our culture and enter into a prayerful and Spirit-led process of determining the direction for our world. I think that this sort of revival begins with each of us and in our own hearts. We must decide that we desire the sort of deep flowing peace that comes about only by and through following Christ in all matters and that leads to the type of quietness in the spirit that is formed out of total trust of the Lord and in His Word. In Christ, we are not citizens of nations, and we are not to be followers of any political system or point of view. By Christ’s guidance and in the power of His Spirit, we are to proclaim the truth of His righteousness by all that we say and do. With Christ we can impact our world for the sake of peace, justice, and righteousness. This begins with personal repentance and proceeds in trust with confidence and courage into the way we engage in the public sector. Then it goes forth as we demand righteousness and godliness from our leaders and in our processes of governance.

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