“Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, an…d equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.” Isaiah 59:14-16
A careful examination of this scripture, would reveal to us something quite alarming. Out of all the millions of people in the world, at the time when prophet Isaiah penned down these words, God himself confessed not to have identified a man. In verse 16a of that scripture, it says “He saw that there was no man…”
What? Did he say there was no man? Out of all the people in the whole wide world? No man? Relating this scripture to our time today, that is like saying, of the over seven billion people alive today, God comes around and complains, He can’t find a man. What a paradox that would seem to us. Alas! As I write these words however, I could hear the burden and the cry in the heart of God Almighty, that the same need persists today. EVEN GOD HAS A NEED.
Can God be frustrated about anything? Well, if this is not frustration I am seeing here, then I don’t know what it is. Could it be that even to this same present time, the maker of heaven and earth is frustrated that he can’t find enough men to take care of business on the earth?
What frustrated God so bad to make him scream that he can’t find a man? A return to that passage would give us a glimpse.
“Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.” Isaiah 59:14-16
God is frustrated by the following factors. Whenever these factors are present in any given society, God is angry, frustrated, irritated and grieved. His frustration is mainly directed at men. Men who he had charged with the mandate to manage the earth for him. Men who are now so much preoccupied with their own day to day survival. Men that have neglected his instructions and injunction, to rule and reign on earth, on behalf of God. This cannot but frustrate even God himself.
“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Below I will enumerate the factors that causes grievances in the heart of the master:
1. Whenever justice to ordinary men, widows. Orphans, poor, disadvantaged and the general mass is delayed or denied, that leads to God’s frustration. At a time like that, God laments, WHERE IS A MAN?
“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.” ― Che Guevara
Justice is the foundation of any society. When that falls nothing else stands. Men of honor, men of God in a healthy society, stand in defense of justice. Men who know God and his heart, would not hide behind their pulpit when justice is been ridiculed in their society. Men after the heart of God, become the moral conscience, the guidance and custodians of justice, not simply in the security of the four walls of their church. No! They extend that wall to the wider society.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
2. The next thing that frustrates the heart of God, is lack of judgment: when judgment turns backwards instead of going forward, when there is no advancement in righteous judgment, it grieves the heart of God. Judgment does not necessarily relate to the judiciary system.
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Judgment refers to a sound mind. When there is no sound mind in a society, people in that society don’t think straight. They are perverted in their thoughts. They are compromised in their judgment. Their thinking and their decisions, don’t always follow the natural flow of logic, because the society and the culture of the land has polluted the minds of ordinary people.
One of the dictionary meanings of judgment is the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions. This only happens in a society where the value systems have been compromised. When that happens, God is frustrated.
“For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.” ― Marcus Tullius Cicero.
3. The next thing that grieves the heart of the lord is when truth is ridiculed: When God doesn’t see men who stand in defense of the truth. When men allow other people to ridicule, laugh and jeer at the truth, that cannot but bring sorrow to the heart of God.
“Let the first act of every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:
– I shall not fear anyone on Earth.
– I shall fear only God.
– I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.
– I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.
– I shall conquer untruth by truth. And in resisting untruth, I shall put up with all suffering.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
The state of Israel at the state of Isaiah’s writing is that truth was not only ridiculed, truth had fallen in the streets. Meaning, truth had become like a football, that is kicked and tossed around by passersby. That grieves God’s heart.
“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
4. The next thing that breaks the heart of God and makes him to cry out of frustration for his men and their whereabouts is when equity has been squeezed out of the public square.
What is equity? It is the quality of citizens of a given society to relate to each other in fairness and impartiality. When fairness disappears from the public discuss of any nation, when partiality replaces impartiality, God begins to look for men – His men.
“There is a difference between what is wrong and what is evil. Evil is committed when clarity is taken away from what is clearly wrong, allowing wrong to be seen as less wrong, excusable, right, or an obligatory commandment of the Lord God Almighty .Evil is bad sold as good, wrong sold as right, injustice sold as justice. Like the coat of a virus, a thin veil of right can disguise enormous wrong and confer an ability to infect others.” ― John Hartung
In those societies where there are worthy men and women of God, not necessarily preachers or religious men, but men that know the ways of God, they stand up against the collapse of equity in their land. Those who are men in God’s eyes would live and die for the promotion of equity, fairness and impartiality.
When a society begins to lack such men, that is the kind of thing that brings sorrow to the heart of our King.
5. In any society where it is dangerous not to practice evil like others, it means, men after God’s heart have disappeared from the land. At the time of Isaiah’s writing, things had gotten so bad that according to him “ he that departs from evil makes himself a prey” it was so unpopular to stand for what is right that people will not just mock and ridicule those who strive to live right, they would actually go to the extent of taking advantage of them, punish them, prosecute them and make a prey of them
“A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. … A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of South America and say, “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
My dear readers, is your society getting to that place? Can you hear the clarion call from heaven, telling you to arise and be the man God is looking for?
6. At the height of God’s disillusionment though, is the fact that “… He saw that there was no man” how come there are millions of people in a country, billions of people in the world and God says there is no man?
Friends, are you a man according to Gods definition? Have you ever placed yourself under God’s microscopic eyes? Have you examined yourself according to his standards of judgment? Does he call you a man? Is he satisfied with you or could it be that God looks at you and fails to see a man, only a bunch of flesh, Full of self, and missing out on the purpose for his or her creation? What does God see, think and feel when he looks at you? “… He saw that there was no man”
Ladies and gentlemen, have you ever thought about what could be God’s heartbeat? What gets him excited? What frustrates him? Today we are examining one of the major points of frustrations to God. Often, we tend to think that God doesn’t struggle with mundane things like frustrations and anger. But here he comes out plain to us, that one of his major points of frustrations is WHEN THERE IS NO MAN.
When men and women who God has created to make a difference in the world, abandon the mandate for their lives and instead begin to pursue all nonentities of life, God cannot but be frustrated. Each and every one of us was created to carry out justice, judgment, truth and equity on the earth. It could be in different spheres of life, in various professions or in diverse gifting. But the mandate is clear, his nature must be reflected on the earth. If he is a God of justice, people must see his justice on earth. If he is a God of sound judgment, that sound mind must be revealed in people who identify themselves with him on daily basis. If God is truth, that truth must reign supreme on the earth even as he reigns over the universe. If fairness, impartiality, equity, are his essence, that should become dominant in any society.
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
If these things are not ruling and reigning in a community, it means he is not there. It doesn’t matter that we claim to belong to him, it doesn’t actually matter what we claim, if it is not been reflected, if his nature is not been manifested, let’s face it friends, He is not there. If we claim to know Him, let’s reveal Him. If we say we are his servants, let’s carry Him.
“As long as there is one person suffering an injustice; as long as one person is forced to bear an unnecessary sorrow; as long as one person is subject to an undeserved pain, the worship of a God is a demoralizing humiliation.
As long as there is one mistake in the universe; as long as one wrong is permitted to exist; as long as there is hatred and antagonism among mankind, the existence of a God is a moral impossibility.
Ingersoll said: ‘Injustice upon earth renders the justice of heaven impossible.” ― Joseph Lewis,
I think it should begin to become easier to understand God’s frustration at man “… and he saw that there was no man” I can only imagine how frustrating that could be. After spending all of his resources to create all of us, not just one or two people, but in millions and billions and yet, not to find anyone stand tall when you most need him. Yea, you can’t say there is a man when there is no man.
Is any one of us reading this, asking himself the question, how he could get himself back to the heartbeat of God? Is anyone asking what he or she could do, to begin to carry the concerns of God? Is anyone seeking to please the master again? Can I hear anyone crying out saying, tell me what to do. What can I do? I must see a change in myself and in my community.
Are you now taking a decision, making plans, strategizing, to begin to proclaim and establish justice in your world? Can you see the pictures before you on how to intervene on behalf of the oppressed? Are you thinking of what to do to the disenfranchised of your society? Do you notice the abused of your society? Can you see the afflicted that are crying for that justice every day? What of those who are been maltreated on daily basis, do you think they need that justice? Did you see any of those who are downtrodden, would that justice help them? Anyone oppressed and suppressed around you, can you serve them justice?
Ladies and gentlemen, lack of sound mind and judgment – the ability to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions, is a matter of frustration and disillusionment to God. If God is saying he doesn’t have men to pursue and establish these, are you not thinking that He is referring to you? Is it not clear now that he is not just addressing the preachers? Can’t you hear his voice that he is obviously talking to you to do something about it?
Can you start a movement in your land that will encourage men and women to begin to think, to begin to make sound judgment and informed decisions? Will you bring illumination to your people? Will you facilitate understanding amidst those whom you live with? The earth is crying for people who make sound judgment and informed decisions.
If God is so concerned about the state of truth in any society, I think that should begin to concern us as well. When was the last time your heart was troubled that truth is been ridiculed where you live? Are you sure you are not one of those who simply close their eyes and turn in the other direction just to avoid experiencing the horrible truth of our world?
Every one of us can do something about the truth. You can at least stand for the truth wherever you are. You can refuse to compromise the truth. Of course you can tell the truth. Truth could be proclaimed. Truth could be defended. Truth could be protected. There are so many responses to the truth that would please the heart of our master. Heaven awaits only your decision.
When God speaks about equity, that choice of word, makes us understand that God is not referring to the leaders of the land or the elite this time around. He is actually talking about how ordinary citizens of the land relate to each other in fairness and impartiality. What do you think about your area? Is it a common thing for ordinary citizens to relate to each other in fairness and impartiality? Can you do anything about it? Of course you can.
What about starting an NGO? What about launching a campaign? What about joining a pressure group? What about teaching this in schools, colleges, tertiary institutions? I want to believe that you are hearing the voice of conscience right now, calling you to arise and become the man God is looking for.
When God says he doesn’t see a man, I think the logical question would be to ask, what then does he see?
In my thinking, I believe the word that best describes what God sees in the absence of a man, is a bunch of flesh – biological masses. There is a word that might best fit the description of what God sees when he looks at the earth, the word is BIOMASS or BIOMASSES.
Biomasses are a biological reality that cannot be denied as existing, but even though they exist physically, yet they have not attained the height of Homo sapiens. Humans could be termed as biomasses when they don’t fully put into use their human qualifications. Men and women that don’t bother to think. Men and women that don’t bother to notice things that are out of order. People who are indifferent about the happenings around them. Men and women that don’t respond with solution to the challenges of the era. All of these people are united by one common name BIOMASSES.
Even God does not call every human a man. There are some who have not managed to attain the height of those who God refers to as men. They might be giving birth, eating and drinking, having fun, but yet, when they don’t live for what they were created for, they remain biomasses.
It is not enough to have a body to be qualified as a man. Animals too have bodies and we don’t call them man for some reasons – they don’t qualify. So such is man, such is human, who might not be qualified because he has not attained the height where he sees realities as God wants him to see it. Animals give birth to children, so that alone is not an argument strong enough to make a human a man. Otherwise goats, dogs and pigs could beat us to the game, because they could do in one go what will take man years to accomplish. A woman can only give birth to a number of kids at a time, in a year, while some animals could give birth to as many as tens of breeds in a year.
Ladies and gentlemen, I therefore submit to you that what qualifies a person to be called a man according to God, is the ability of the individual to live by the right standard and values that heaven values. Standards like, justice, judgment, truth and equity.
Our daily endeavors and activities should be about or around these value systems. They reflect love. They reflect care. They reflect kindness. They are qualities of heaven.
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public” ― Cornel West
God is calling upon us today, especially those of us who have been privileged to come across this article, to arise and rebel against lawlessness in our societies. Silence and indifference would not take you anywhere at the end of the day. It is only people who show upright positions in standing for the truth that win at last. When we become quiet at the collapsed value system in our nation, iniquity and injustice would eventually overrun that nation if action is not taken promptly.
Justice suffers when men refuse to stand firm for what is right. If we don’t fight lawlessness, it prevails. If we don’t establish the truth in our nations, truth becomes foreign in the country. God says there is no man when there is nobody who stands for the truth.
I hope my modest effort in unveiling this truth, will contribute to you my dear readers, to becoming a better man in the eyes of God!
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, CHURCH AND NATION
By Pastor Sunday Adelaja.