2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!
3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?
Once again, God is warning the people against injustice. The poor and the vulnerable have always been the prey of those who would take advantage of others. It was happening in Israel then, and it is happening today. The widows of that time were particularly vulnerable as they were totally dependent on their husband or sons to provide for them.
At least today, there is some protection, but not in all parts of the world, and not so that most families can keep their homes or their standard of living if they lose a spouse. And there are still those who will take advantage of the situation! We know that the poor are also open to be preyed upon. It is not uncommon for the poor to work several jobs in order to have a roof over their heads and food on the table for their children.
However, these same people might only be able to get jobs that pay little and have no benefits and who can lose their jobs if they are sick or need to take time off. In parts of the world where it is difficult to find work, injustices can be worse.
Some countries limit the opportunities for those who do not follow the religion of the majority, and they put barrier up that limit those who are given access to education. Unscrupulous business owners under-pay employees or lay them off as they rise in their positions so that they can hire people who will accept less pay.
This warning from Isaiah is a reminder that even if they are not judged by the world, they will be judged by God. It is also a reminder that you can’t take it with you! It is our responsibility to work for justice as best we can, and to work for laws that will protect those who need it.
Lord, you love all of your children and want them to be protected from those who would take advantage any of them. We need your help to know what we can do to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Amen.