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Transformation Garden - Nov. 3, 2010

  • 2010 Nov 03

"This is the kind of fast day I'm after, to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts.

What I'm interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families.

Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once, your righteousness will pave your way. The God of glory will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You'll call out for help and I'll say, ‘Here I am.' If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people's sins, if you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down and out, your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places - firm muscles, strong bones. You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You'll use the old rubble of the past to build anew, renew the foundations from out of your past."
Isaiah 58: 6-12
N. I.V.
The Message Bible


"The Justice Found In Righteous Prosperity"


"To be perfectly just is an attribute of the divine nature; to be so to the utmost of our abilities is the glory of man (and woman)."
Joseph Addison

How do I define the word "justice?"

Does my definition of "justice" change when I remember the words of Jesus, "Love your enemies?"

How do I think "justice" and "prosperity" intersect?


"He (she) who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor."
Proverbs 21: 21

Over the next few weeks, we are going to study, in-depth, the story, found in

II Samuel 12, which Nathan told King David. While this is a story I've read on several occasions, as I prepared for our studies on David and Bathsheba, it was as though I was reading this passage of Scripture for the very first time. Maybe it was the fact that I was looking for words that relate especially to women like the word, "daughter," which appears in the story of the poor and rich man. As I read this story and prayed over the words in Scripture, I began to recognize that this story contains a heavenly blueprint for how we relate one to another, in every facet of our lives. But even more importantly, this story is like a huge spotlight, shining on God's justice and what His justice is about. I think we may all be in for a little surprise, (maybe even a big surprise) for God's "justice" as we humans often define it, is way off course from what the "righteousness" of God is. And if you happen to think I used the wrong word when I wrote "righteousness" above, in Isaiah 58, where our text for today comes from, the words "right," "righteous," "just," and "equitable prosperity" are found to be used interchangeably.

Why is it so critical we understand this principle as we study the lives of David and Bathsheba? Well, if a human definition of justice had prevailed, both David and Bathsheba should have died. In Bible times, the penalty for a woman who committed adultery was stoning. (Remember the woman brought to Jesus who had been caught in the very "act" of adultery?) One down! Bathsheba, if justice had prevailed, would have been stoned. And as for David's act of adultery and murder, how about an "eye for an eye." That's a text to pull out and apply to David. And yet, this isn't what happened. So I ask you, "Did God go easy on these two? Did they get by with disobedience while others were punished, some very severely?"

This brings me back to Nathan's story about two men, one rich and one poor. And it also reminds me of a thought we touched on at the beginning of this week regarding God's ability to view the landscape of all our lives from a heavenly perspective.

While it is easy to think that Nathan's story applied only to King David who took the wife of Uriah, there's much more to this story than first meets the eye.

In a day where the "gospel of prosperity" is trumpeted from Christian pulpits around the globe, the story of the rich and poor man pokes a hole in our bubble of self-indulgent gratification whether it be materialistic grandeur or sensual stimulation. And God didn't want David to get away thinking that it was just his lust for Bathsheba that got him into trouble. It wasn't! David's ability to use his position of power to have and hold whatever his heart desired set the stage for future folly. As we will see, his accumulation of wealth at the expense of those with less, led to an attitude which fostered his appetite for taking what was not "rightfully" his own. What's more frightening, he thought he was on God's side, doing God's work, doing the right thing until the day he was confronted by God's messenger, Nathan, who came with a story about righteousness, justice and the true definition of equitable prosperity. This is a story that will give you and me a lot to think about as we reflect on our own lives in an age of avarice and injustice toward the "least of these."

"Man is unjust, but God is just; and finally justice triumphs."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Remember Christ's Call for the Least of These

"Dear Lord, our Heavenly Father,
Help us to be your servants to those
hungry for peace, not division; people whose souls
clamor for the sustenance of justice, an end to crimes
of violence and greed; to those longing for a night's sleep
without gnawing hunger, the fear of starvation.
Empower us to feed your sheep, your lambs.
Help us to be your servants to those
thirsty for water, unpolluted water, parched for
understanding, for living water.
Enable us to quench their thirst, to offer them the
Blood of Christ.
Help us to be your servants to those
strangers who live next door, the handicapped,
the addicted, the outcasts.
Remind us they are your friends, made in your image.
Help us to be your servants to those
naked in their loss by fire, water, or tornado;
exposed by the media; unable to hide their emotions.
Give us grace to clothe their needs.
Help us to be your servants to those
sick grown-ups and children, waiting for diagnoses,
transplants, or cures; people sick from the world's
ills and disappointments.
Beloved Physician, heal them, we pray.
Help us to be your servants to those
imprisoned, awaiting sentence or parole;
imprisoned by debt or an abusive relationship,
locked in prisons that have no bars.
Help us to free them, to speak of Your love.
Forgive us our failures. May we see You in others
each day of our lives.
This we pray, for Christ's sake. Amen."

The Reverend Marie Elizabeth Dyer

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
mailto:[email protected] 

P.S. Next week we will be studying about the way our heavenly Father honors, respects and esteems His daughters and sons. I encourage you to invite a friend to come with you to the garden. Or better yet, post the devotional on your Facebook site or forward to a friend.

P.P.S.  My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at,, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You can also go to and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.  

For more from Dorothy, please visit