Remembering the Past and Looking Forward to a Throne “established in steadfast love” –Isaiah 16:5

We recently marked the 50-year anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in Selma. This remembrance marks and reminds us of a terrible time in United States history. The fact that a segment of our population, marked out only by their skin color, had to fight in order to be recognized as human beings on par with their white neighbors revealed a dark side of our country’s world view. But what is far more disturbing is the fact that many churches, pastors, and religious leaders stood by and did nothing. I would expect those who view the world from a secular humanistic worldview to have aberrant perspectives on things. But when Christians (or at least those professing Christ) fall on the wrong side of a moral issue, it is deeply disturbing. See, the secular humanist doesn’t have an external moral compass against which he measures every decision and action that he takes. A Christian however, by definition is one who measures everything he does by the actions and teachings of Christ as revealed in the inspired Word of God.
I grew up in a suburb of Washington, DC. My friends and playmates were from “every kindred, tongue, people, and nation.” My parents were not perfect (though I grew up in a good home), but to their credit, they never taught me negative views of friends and neighbors because of their ethnicity. I knew that my friends smelled differently, looked differently, ate differently, and had different cultural behaviors than I did (or than each other for that matter). But that was never made a big deal in our home or church. We did our best to flesh out the teachings of the text, and to put into practice the Biblical concept that we were all (as believers) part of the singular Body of Christ.
But it wasn’t perfect. It never will be. That doesn’t mean that we ever settle for less than perfect conformity to the Word of God. It does mean that we seek to grow in this life and look forward to a future day when a King will reign Who will make sure that injustice and inequality never again have a place. Isaiah 16:5 states about this king “then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.” Speaking of the future reign of Christ, Isaiah gives us great hope

  1. Hope of a loving ruler. “Steadfast love” renders a Hebrew word that points to covenant faithfulness and love. We will live under a regime fueled not by political correctness or personal agenda, but fueled by love rooted in His personal covenant made with His people and rooted in His blood
  2. Hope of an established throne. No more shakiness at the top. No more questions of political winds and which way they blow. No more public opinion deciding morality. We will have a loving rule whose throne is firmly established.
  3. Hope of a faithful ruler. Human leadership will always be marked by weakness, and thus unfaithfulness. Good men and women fall and fail. It is their nature. This king will not.
  4. Hope of justice and righteousness. Justice can be hard to come by in our day and age, even with the most advanced justice system in world history (O.J. Simpson, anyone?). And yet when Christ returns, we are told that he will reign with justice. That means there will be no preferential treatment. And His justice will be rooted in righteousness. That means there will be a perfect standard against which everyone will be judged. The language of “reasonable doubt” will disappear. There will be no unrighteous laws on the books (in other words, Kermit Gosnell will be one of only thousands of murderers who are convicted). That means that justice will never be thwarted by lobbyists or political action groups who get favorable laws on the books.

So, we mourn for injustice now, and we work to improve, to grow, to be more like our Lord. But we also look to a day when all will be set aright. When things like Selma will never again be required in order to society to reform. Reform will never again be needed. And with the saints, I utter my prayer, “even so Lord, come quickly.”