God’s justice and compassion go hand in hand.
Most of the time we think about justice in terms of retribution: someone commits a crime and must be punished lest society deteriorate toward lawlessness. Retribution, however, is only part of justice. Biblically speaking, justice has to do with peace, wholeness, and righteousness. The world God created was wholly good and just. However, Scripture is also clear that God’s world has been corrupted by sin. The world is longing for the day when peace and righteousness will be restored through the return of Christ.
- When you hear the word “justice,” what comes to mind?
- If you asked the average person whether we live in a just or an unjust world, what do you think they would say?
Read Isaiah 42:1-4:
- How is the picture of justice in these verses different from what most people typically understand a person of justice to be?
- To what type of person do you think the metaphor “a bruised reed” refers?
- What does perseverance (verse 4) have to do with faithfully bringing forth justice?
- When have you seen impatience frustrate or prevent justice (ex. as a parent, child, employer, or employee)?
Read Isaiah 42:5-9:
- How is God described here, and why do you think these specific reminders would be included?
- What promises does God make about the Messiah in verses 6-7?
- From this passage, how would you describe the justice of King Jesus?
Taking it Home:
- What aspect of the Messiah’s justice do you appreciate the most right now?
- Do you struggle to appreciate any aspects of God’s justice, as it is described in this passage?
Ways to Pray:
- Adoration: Admire the gentle and compassionate nature of the Servant, who does not break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick.
- Confession: Confess any ways in which you have contributed to injustice or oppression in your own life or in the world.
- Thankfulness: Express gratitude for the ways in which God has worked in your life to bring healing, liberation, and hope.
- Supplication: Pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God, when justice will reign and all people will live in peace and harmony.
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
- Acts 17:22-25
- Psalm 50:8-12
- 1 Timothy 6:6-19
- Ephesians 1:3-14
- Hebrews 7:1-7
- Deuteronomy 10:12-21