Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Wednesday, 15 January 2014


By Jim Jordal

 With my soul have I desired you in the night. Yes, with my spirit within me will I seek you earnestly; for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

Isaiah 26:9 WEB, emphasis mine

 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky, and doesn't return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Isaiah 55:9-11 WEB, emphasis mine

Evidently the prophet Isaiah was given to late-night meditations in which his spirit sought serious communion with God. One such episode revealed to him a truth of profound importance: that when God’s judgments are in the earth the people will learn righteousness. This phrase had endless possibilities then, as it does today.

What does it mean for God’s judgments to be "in the earth"? If they are already here in the form of Mosaic Law, how can they be here in any greater degree or extent? Yes, they are here, but they are not a vital part of our spiritual makeup today. God’s law must be more than published or known--it must be obeyed in order to become part of our spiritual DNA.

Moses in Deuteronomy 28 pointed out the consequences—both good and bad—of obeying the Law. Obedience brings God’s blessing upon the people, while disobedience results in an almost unimaginable litany of curses upon the nation. So not only knowing, but also actually doing God’s will is a vital component of national health.

What about the next phrase revealing the truth that the people can learn to perform righteousness through the imparting of God’s word? First, what is righteousness? Dictionaries define it as moral, rightful conduct or behavior. Since human conduct must have some object, then righteousness might best be explained as the condition of being in right relationship with God, man, and nature.

Right relationships, or righteousness, can be learned through study of God’s word. Isaiah tells us above as he speaks for God that the word of God will not return void, but will accomplish its task to impart righteousness to those who believe and act on it.


Looking at world conditions today one must recognize that we are falling dreadfully and possibly even fatally short (without the direct intervention of God) in these three areas of relationship. We reject God, destroy humans, and treat God’s earth as our treasure trove and garbage dump. It’s my view that left alone we’ll finally succeed in destroying the earth and ourselves. But God will not leave us alone as he continually applies pressure until we awaken to the absolute necessity of obeying his word.

That long-awaited awakening will be the advent of God’s earthly kingdom ruled by a returned Christ. We will be healed in our relationships with God, each other, and nature. We will learn righteousness as God’s truth pervades our consciousness and actions.

Today’s "human potential" movement has many adherents who believe that humankind will ultimately evolve upward to the point of moral and ethical perfection. It’s a nice thought, but Scripture says otherwise. It’s difficult to consider the mindless violence that seemingly grows every day and the cold manipulations of large corporations concerned only with profit, and still believe in human perfectibility. But hope for a better world remains.

Old Testament Law was fulfilled, not abolished, by Christ. Jesus made it clear that the Law was an essential part of the faith life. But he modified it in application through the substitution of love as the motivating force. The Law is still here, but we obey because we love rather than fear. And because we obey we obtain the promised personal and national blessings.