"A Just Cause"
April 4, 2011
Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit! From Your presence let my vindication come! Let Your eyes behold the right! Psalm 17:1-2
The church in La Paz, Arizona, has a strange sounding name: Church of the Isaiah 58 Project.
Of course, having a strange name doesn't mean that church ought to be penalized. And being penalized is apparently what has happened to it.
Let me explain. In 2006 the church applied for a property tax exemption. Although the congregation has all the credentials necessary, the authorities refused to grant the request without a letter from the IRS stating the congregation qualified.
The county assessor sat on the church's request for three years. Then, when he received the letter from the IRS, he granted the exemption ... but only for 2009!
This meant there was about $50,000 due in back property taxes. Those back taxes caused a lien to be put on the congregation's property. Then the assessor who had created the tax-bill problem sold the tax lien to a private investor who has told the church he's planning to foreclose.
I would imagine the congregation's members feel they should join their voices to that of King David who wrote the text that is the center of our devotion today. I imagine they, too, want to say, "Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!"
Although I'm not judge, jury or attorney, to my average ears it would seem the congregation most certainly does have a case to complain about.
I'm absolutely sure the Lord above is ready to listen to them.
He's ready to listen to us too, you know. Think -- how many times have you wanted to go to someone in authority and complain about life's inequities and injustices? How many times haven't you had a just grievance that upset you?
If you've had those times, then be turned to the Lord. Ask Him to listen; ask Him to see what you've been dealing with. Then, knowing He has seen and heard, ask Him to intercede on your behalf ... or on the side that is right.
And if you're wondering why He might vindicate you, the answer is simple: because of His Son's sacrifice. Because Jesus has lived, suffered, died and risen for you, not only are you saved, you also have a Heavenly Father who is eager and ready to hear your prayer.
God grant He hears and acts for all His people who are being treated unjustly.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, often and without reason, the world can treat unjustly. You are quite different. You -- always and without any reason -- treat us fairly and more than fairly. For Your gracious love, best seen in the Savior, we offer our thanks. Now we pray You will vindicate those who are being treated unjustly. In the Name of the Savior I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries