You are a sure Foundation for our times, a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of You is the key to this Treasure. Please forgive me for planting my roots in the wrong soil. Thank You that You are faithful to cut off all of our misplanted roots that we may be fully established in You. The effect of Your Justice and Righteousness is that Your people are filled with the full knowledge of Christ. Though it is impossible for us, please open our eyes to see the true Justice that You have purchased for us by Your blood. May we see that this Justice is exalted and supersedes the darkness that we are surrounded by. May Your Spirit reveal to us the heart-conquering effect of Christ's righteousness as we watch in hope for the movement of Your Arm.
In Jesus Christ's Name,
and the desert becomes a fertile field,
and the fertile field seems like a forest.
16 Justice will dwell in the desert
and righteousness live in the fertile field.
17 The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. Is 32
and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
honesty cannot enter.
15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.
The LORD looked and was displeased
that there was no justice. Is 59
Even as we pursue justice, we fail to acknowledge that we did not consider what was the effect of justice that we had hoped for. Did we pursue justice so that we may have peace? Did we pursue justice so that we may know unfailing love? Did we pursue justice so that we may be filled with gladness of heart? Or did we pursue justice so that we all may be physically provided for? Did we pursue justice so that we may make earthly plans or advancements with regard to our financial estate or family status? Did we pursue justice to temporarily satisfy our ever-guilty consciences...as a form of self-righteousness? Did mankind know the purpose, the effect, of justice? Have we sought the heart and mind of the Sovereign God with regard to His design for justice? What was the effect of justice that the Author of Justice had in mind?
Even our attempts to carry out justice were entirely futile. For if justice refers to each man receiving the due payment for his deeds, we know that we all would only receive the wrath of the Father. How then could we seek to administer justice to one another? We were collectively a mass of people held directly under the cup of the full wrath of God. Even if we lived among a perfect world, a perfect Garden of Eden, our hearts were not righteous. The intended effect of His justice could never be brought forth from our efforts. And yet blindness of heart causes mankind to move on in their striving for justice. In the process they heap up words of conceit, aimless argument, malice, slander, deceit, and division. In the very pursuit of justice, mankind has committed atrocious injustices. Justice could not be born from unrighteousness. A condemned vine could not bring about the wonderful effect of God's justice: peace, quietness, and confidence forever. For we had failed to heed His teaching and direction. We paid no attention to His commands.
17 This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the LORD your God,
who teaches you what is best for you,
who directs you in the way you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention to My commands,
your peace would have been like a river,
your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Is 48
5 In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a Man will sit on it—
One from the house of David—
One who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.Is 16
The effect of justice that we sought, apart from the filling of His Spirit that came from the salvation of our God, was sinful indulgence, the satisfaction of the flesh, the feeding of the pride of the heart, the fulfillment of selfish ambition. Can we see, dear family, that everything we had hoped for in our pursuit of justice independent from His glorious Law and salvation was amiss? Not one one us had the clean and holy heart that would know and understand the effect of His justice. We were altogether useless in our pursuit of justice. For our heart's were misaligned with the purpose of the heavenly Father. No one could bring about justice. No one desired the true effect of justice; for we wanted the glorification of what is perishable rather than the glorification of the imperishable eternal God. And where man is glorified apart from God, there is only condemnation, guilt, shame, and futility. There is no peace, quietness, or confidence.
Because of our unrighteousness there was no one who could intervene on behalf of justice. Therefore His own arm worked salvation for His people. Jesus put on righteousness as His breastplate, salvation as His helmet, vengeance as His garment, and He wrapped Himself in zeal as a cloak. In the act of His death and resurrection, His own blood removed the cup of wrath hanging over our heads. His Father's justice was fulfilled. His wrath was poured out on His firstborn son and we were justly spared. Furthermore, we are covered in the righteousness in Christ as our offenses are swept away like a cloud and like the morning mist.
16 He saw that there was no one,
He was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so His own arm worked salvation for Him,
and His own righteousness sustained Him.
17 He put on righteousness as His breastplate,
and the helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance
and wrapped Himself in zeal as in a cloak. Is 59
21 “Remember these things, O Jacob,
for you are My servant, O Israel.
I have made you, you are my servant;
O Israel, I will not forget you.
22 I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist. Is 44
Now He calls His chosen ones to hear the Words of His salvation by which they are given justice.
Return to Me,
for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this;
shout aloud, O earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
He displays his glory in Israel.Is 44
Even to us who have received by faith the gift of salvation, He calls us to watch His Arm bring justice to the nations. What is justice? What is our reward and recompense due us for our new standing as children of God, forgiven and clothed with righteous garments? The fulfillment of our justice is that we have be granted our inheritance: eternal Life. And what is Eternal Life? Jesus prayed, "Now this is eternal Life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. (John 17: 3)".
THE FULL AND COMPLETE MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S JUSTICE FOR HIS PEOPLE IS THAT THEY KNOW JESUS CHRIST IN FULL.
Dear saint, this statement has profound implications that only the Spirit surely will reveal to you. We will come to know Him as our Good Shepherd who tenderly gathers the lambs in His arms, carries them close to His heart, and gently leads those who have young. There is nothing else that we are granted, dear saints, and nothing else which can bring about the effect of justice and righteousness (peace, quietness, and confidence) than the knowledge of Jesus Christ: the perfect union with the Father in Him by the Spirit. For as we know Him we become righteous and pure as He is righteous and pure and we receive the effects of righteousness.
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,
and His arm rules for Him.
See, His reward is with Him,
and His recompense accompanies Him.
11 He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.Is 40
hear Me, My nation:
The law will go out from Me;
My justice will become a light to the nations.
5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
my salvation is on the way,
and My arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to Me
and wait in hope for My Arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,
the earth will wear out like a garment
and its inhabitants die like flies.
But My salvation will last forever,
my righteousness will never fail.Is 51
He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
6 He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.Is 33
22 “Turn to Me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.
23 By Myself I have sworn,
My mouth has uttered in all integrity
a Word that will not be revoked:
Before Me every knee will bow;
by Me every tongue will swear.
24 They will say of Me, ‘In the LORD alone
are righteousness and strength.’”
All who have raged against Him
will come to Him and be put to shame.
25 But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel
will be found righteous and will exult.Is 45
The Effect of Righteousness
Justice delivered to us results in our being granted the effect of righteousness: peace, quietness, and confidence. Any one of us who has walked with the Lord in the Spirit for any amount of time can attest to these effects of righteousness. As we walk in His righteousness we find that there is a tremendous peace that comes in knowing that our unrighteousness and weakness is forever blotted out. As we love unconditionally with the love we have known from the Father, we find that there is a fearlessness, a confidence, that comes to us. As we put all of our hope in Him our hearts experience a quietness and a rest from above. As we walk humbly before our God, expecting no earthly gain or pleasure, we are filled with rest. For we have made Him our abode and our dwelling place. As we seek to please no man and to receive nothing from him but rather to unconditionally love others, and seek only to please our heavenly Father we plant our roots in the Author of Justice. He will never fail us. When the Spirit breaks off our every root that is planted in the soil of the earthly glories, our joy increases.
His Way of Revealing His Justice
If the true and complete fulfillment of God's justice for us is that we may know Christ as we are covered in His righteousness, God certainly has a plan for revealing this justice to His people and to the world. What if God chose to remove from His people earthly facets of justice and prosperity to show them that His justice of knowing Christ was truly great and glorious? For even the Savior did not come to establish earthly justice or to become an earthly king but rather to pour out His Life unto death so that He could purchase the gift of righteousness for His chosen people.
I will put My Spirit on Him
and He will bring justice to the nations.
2 He will not shout or cry out,
or raise His voice in the streets.
3 A bruised reed He will not break,
and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.
In faithfulness He will bring forth justice;
4 He will not falter or be discouraged
till He establishes justice on earth.
In His law the islands will put their hope.”Is 42
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them. Is 42
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the LORD
and rely on his God.
11 But now, all you who light fires
and provide yourselves with flaming torches,
go, walk in the light of your fires
and of the torches you have set ablaze.
This is what you shall receive from My hand:
You will lie down in torment. Is 50
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Is 43
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs. Is 41
19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set pines in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the LORD has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.Is 41
His promise of righteousness and justice are promised to His people and by them, His people are betrothed to Him forever in faithfulness. Even as He continues to reveal this to His people, we are able to acknowledge the Lord. Imagine the people of the world who are trusting in earthly prosperity and glory to behold the people of God rejoicing in peace, quietness, and confidence amidst a "hell-on-earth" because nothing can separate them from their Father's love! This brings Him glory as the infinite worth of knowing Him and His righteousness is revealed!
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the LORD.Hos 2
and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.Is 40
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.Is 58
Could we ever do these acts of righteousness on our own? We know and have experienced that we cannot. But as we believe and receive His gift of the reward of justice, eternal Life and Christ's righteousness, we are granted the power to do these good works which God prepared beforehand for us.
All the Afflictions of God's People (8 minute Puritan devotional by John Fawcett)