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Christian Ethics (1551 words)

Christian Ethics
Exam 2, Lecture 2
We in our society are happy when we condemn other people. We as Christian cannot do it.
The book of Isaiah
Isaiah was trying to get the people of Israel to live exclusively according to the righteousness and justice of God. Rather than emulate the nations of Babylon, Assyrian and Egypt.
Isaiah has a very clear notion of what justice is and that is the fair treatment of disadvantaged. He mentioned and the psalms mentioned this often and other prophet mentioned this and that is there are three special classes of people in Israel that are to be treated with special care, which are: the orphans, the widows and the strangers. You determine the justice of a society based on how they treat the orphans, the widows and the stranger.
Now what do those three have in common?
What an orphan and a widow have in common is no father, no male and no patriots. The patriot was the center of all authority and power. All inheritance passes from the patriot to the next patriot and so if you are a widow without a husband or an orphan without a father, you are not part of social power of society. You have not power because it is passed from male to male.
The stranger are those people in Egypt who also came out with Moses and the Israelite in the exodus but they where not kin or decedents of Abraham, but they to were part of the protection and blessing of God from the exodus.
The strangers were from a different ethical group. Everybody belongs somewhere in the world because in the book of number’s it say I have access to land. The strangers had no access to any form of property, God blesses them but when they left Egypt they had no place to live. So the orphans, the widows and the stranger’s do not have access to social power. They are what you call the disadvantage. Time and time again, Isaiah, the prophets and the psalms would tell us that we must treated these people fairly because according to Deuteronomy chapter 14 verse 29 (although he said Leviticus) 10% of what you have should go to the orphans, widows and strangers. This is justice.
Isaiah form of justice is treating those who cannot take care of themselves fairly. Righteousness according to Isaiah is the right worship of God, which is we really recognize the uniqueness of God. That is one of the reasons why several time throughout Isaiah insults the idols.
Righteousness is the right worship and the exclusive worship of God, while justice is to carry those who cannot carry themselves.
Chapter 51 verse 17
The reason why Jerusalem is such a devastated and destructive place is because they wanted to emulate the other nations. They did not want to live by extreme righteousness and justice of God, so God judges them for them.
Chapter 52 verse 1
This chapter talks about paradox and irony. Paradox those not mean contradiction. Contradiction is when two things don’t have the same truth-values. A paradox can be both true but different.

Para means aside while dox means opinion
Two opinions that are aside but beside one another with different views.
Redemption is eschatological according to Isaiah, which is it occurs in history but not according to historical cause. It occurs by God but not in a supernatural realm. What he describes in this chapter is that one-day Jerusalem holy city. It would be heaven on earth. Jerusalem would only become a holy city only if it is done directly by God. God those it not any other thing does it. Not another king, not another ruler, not another intuitions. This has to be done strictly by God otherwise it would just replicate the problem. Example was one of the greatest empires but now it is in ruins. So Isaiah say don’t pattern yourself on something that would destroy you like the greed and the injustice but rather pattern yourself by being righteous and just and than you would become the holy city.
Chapter 58
Personal devotion should require social justice and righteousness. But the people of Israel try to manipulate God with their acts of worship and devotion, but God cannot be manipulated. God is the righteous judge of all nations, but they thought their sacrifice would be enough to manipulate him, the biggest problem with that is that it becomes a form of magic.

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What the difference between true religion and magic?
All magical acts are a form of control. Isaiah said this is wrong because true worship leads to true behavior.
Truedfabepity means willingness to be controlled. Truedfabepity require one to be humble for one to be willing to be controlled. Isaiah viewed that there is a yolk around people that keeps them oppressed for example if a person is born into a poor family and they have been poor for generations, they would believe that a yolk has been put on them.
According to Isaiah, Israel is to repair these ruins by undoing the injustice that has happened in the past. So that Jerusalem can become that holy city. The past would never have the final word over the oppression that has been experienced. The principle of God’s righteousness and justice can rectify the past.
What is so significant about the Sabbath day?
We know that God worked for 6 days and rested on the Sabbath day. The 6 days were all called good but the Sabbath day was the only day called holy. Nobody makes it holy, God made it only because he rested. The Sabbath day of the week is the experience of God’s holiness. The reason why I work, play and study is to get me ready for the holiness of God on the Sabbath day. It is also a commandment of God. It says that nobody is supposes to work.
According Isaiah that says, “All society should be oriented by this Sabbath rest”.
Social = sabbatical year or year of jubilee. The year of jubilee we don’t own anything and nobody owns anything. We are all equally.
On the year of jubilee 777775 all depth goes back to the original owner, no one is punished for their crime. Every 50 years we reset.
The injustice of the nations
13-23- a Massa means oracle. Isaiah is no longer preaching to the Israelite but to other nations
Context- Assyrian and Babylon aggression
Yahweh wrath
Chapter 13 11-13
Based on justice
“ODay star, son of dawn”
Chapter 14 5-15
What is the morning star is also called the evening start. The morning start would descend like the evening start. Here the king of Babylon saw himself like a king where nobody would be able to defeat him but Isaiah said you he would be defected just like the morning star goes up, it also goes down. You would be like all kings and also become a shadow.

Chapter 16 9-12 Isaiah weeps.
Isaiah is overwhelmed with grief because he knows that God is going to destroy those cities. This is referring to cities in other nation. It shows that he knows that innocent people suffer the consequences of unjust people. He could be referring to the children and he could be referring to young because God’s judgment on them would affect the innocent. Those who do the evil rightly suffer but those who are innocent do not rightly suffer.

Chapter 10
The Role of Assyria in God’s judgment on Jerusalem.
Isaiah said Assyria is the rod of God’s wrath. God used Assyria to punish the Jerusalem.

God would use any means to affect justice in the world. This those not mean that God condors the injustice of Assyria.

How can God use a wicked and cruel nation to affect justice? Only a God that is above all nation can do something like that. A God of a nation is only working the nation’s interest, like the justice that particular nation. The conquering of Jerusalem for it is justice.
The paradox of this situation is:
The people of Assyria where asked by God to punish Israel. They went over board with their credulity and their hate that they did more than what is just and that became unjust and God punished them for their injustice. So it is not easy to say that God used Assyria to punish Jerusalem and than came back to punish them for doing exactly what he told them to do. This is because God always works according to justice. If you want to understand the ways of God, don’t think of him and a decider but a God that always follows what is righteousness and justice. This is a paradox not a contradiction.
What holds the paradox together is that God did it for the same reason both times and that is justice upon Jerusalem and Assyria being unjust. It would be a contradiction if saw this on as a decision on God’s part like ” let punish Jerusalem” or ” I want to punish you for no reason” or ” I can do whatever I want to do”
The paradox is that the same principle was applied in both situations, which was justice.


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