Isaiah 30:18 says, “For the LORD is a God of justice.” Often, when we think of “justice,” we think of bringing punishment to those who have wronged us. But God’s perspective on things is generally different than the world’s.
The other day, one of the pastors at BSSM, Carl, led the school in intercession to pray for the chaos on the Middle East. We prayed about the terrorism of the ISIS, the Taliban, Israel and Palestine, the wars in Africa, and human trafficking.
Carl specifically felt led for us to pray that the goodness of God would overwhelm the leaders of these oppressing armies. The goodness of God? For the leaders of terrorism? Why would we want to pray blessing upon such evil, horrible men?
Well, again, God’s perspective is different than the world’s.
Let’s read that entire verse:
“Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him” (Isaiah 30:18).
This passage is making a direct connection between justice and grace and mercy. To God, justice is not nearly as focused on bringing retribution to the oppressor as it to bringing deliverance to the oppressed.
I want to reiterate a bold statement I said in the blog entitled Terror No More—the mastermind conjuring up the wars and hatred is not human. It is the fallen angel, Lucifer himself, who is to blame.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
As Christians, our true enemy is not the ISIS or the Taliban or any other terrorist group. It is the devil. The truth is that the evil within the hearts of these men who are doing horrendous acts is actually authored and controlled by satan.
The truth is that these men who are oppressing helpless people are actually oppressed themselves. They are deceived and in bondage to the god of darkness who has deceived them into believing a lie.
The truth is, as hard as it is to believe, God loves even them. They are included in the same group of people undeserving of the radical grace that Jesus gave on the cross. Salvation is for all of humanity; forgiveness is for all sins; deliverance is for all bondage. Thank God, even I’m included!
1 John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
But the way He went about this was different than the humanistic mind would plan up. Luke 4:18 tells us how He did this.
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
To God, justice is bringing liberty to the oppressed and healing brokenness.
With this in mind, we should pray for justice to come to the oppressed and broken, especially in this time, for the war-torn regions of the world.
But I believe that one of the other most powerful ways we can pray is to recognize that the oppressors of helpless humanity are actually the oppressed too. They are all under the destructive forces of satan and need to be liberated. The repercussion of their liberation could be the liberation of the innocent.
God will bring punishment to the evil these people are bringing upon the innocent if He must. But I don’t believe that is His preferred plan for justice.
We can pray that the eyes of their hearts become opened to the truth of Jesus Christ.
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
We can pray that the veil will be lifted so the glory of Christ will shine into their hearts and set them free. He is already doing this with some horribly evil men. (The next blog will tell of one of these amazing stories.)
I believe He will continue to do this as we pray. Let’s believe our prayers will affect many more transformational encounters with Jesus Christ for leaders of terrorism.
Romans 2:4 says, “The goodness of God leads you to repentance.” We can pray that they will repent so that they can become transformed by the goodness of God.
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