I am reminded that the OT prophets were preachers of justice. They preached against all who treated others wrongly, who work “to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” (10:2). Because of these sins, and because of her idolatry and more, the Lord will send the nations against Jerusalem and destroy her (10:11). And he will also judge those nations that have come up against Jerusalem.
But then, as so often happens, in the midst of all this shines such a bright light: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. . . . with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth . . . righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins” (11:1,4). We struggle to get things right, to do justly to all, to judge rightly. But there is One who is just and does all things well. Remember Abraham’s intercession for Sodom? “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to put the righteous to death with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as the wicked! Far be that from you! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?” (Genesis 18:25).
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
here shall my stand be taken;
though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
yet am I not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
he holds me that I shall not fall:
and so to him I leave it all. --Samuel Rodigast (1675)