Saturday, September 23, 2006


A fascinating picture of Messiah:
He will not shout or cry out,
or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice....
Isaiah 42.2-3
Why do I think this is fascinating? He will bring forth justice, but he's not going to be loud. How could this be possible?

I had the pleasure of working with a colleague who was not loud, but she was very effective. At the time, General Motors were establishing a set of computer communication standards for their suppliers to follow, and she went to Detroit to push for certain changes. I have to confess that I had my doubts, but she came back with all her goals met.

How did she do it? She looked at the guy and said, "I don't feel comfortable with section 2.3.1," or, "We have an issue with ...." And if he tried to move on, she said, "I still don't feel comfortable with..." Not loud, but very effective -- and quite a contrast to the student demonstrations in the 1960s.

Of course Gandhi comes to mind, and Dr. King.

But back to the text. I'm not sure what Isaiah was thinking about when he wrote this. Oops, that didn't come out quite right. What I mean was, if I can safely assume that the "not shout or cry out" part of this refers to Jesus's earthly ministry in 1st century Israel, what does the "he will bring forth justice" part refer to? Does it mean
  1. He will send his Holy Spirit and work through his followers, who will bring about justice?
  2. He will come again in power, expel the occupiers from Jerusalem, and restore a godly ruler to the throne of David? (the Armageddon scenario doesn't seem too quiet though)
  3. something else entirely?

I'm guessing that it's a sort of blend of #1 and #2, and in any case we who belong to him should be working to bring justice and healing to this world, right?

Easy to say, but hard to do. As for me, I sure need help from the Spirit to do much of that. That he is available to help us sounds to me like really good news.

posted 9/25

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