Isaiah 32:1: “Behold a king will reign righteously, and princes will rule justly.”

Observation: Isaiah 32 depicts a time in the future during the millennial reign of Christ when He will reign righteously and princes will rule justly. Leadership then will be good, as it is submitted to the headship of Christ.

Application: Upon first reading, it is easy for this passage to hold little personal application; after all, we are not yet in the millennial kingdom, Christ has not yet returned, so meanwhile, I can view this as a condition to be established in the “by-and-by” that doesn’t touch me now. But for those of us who claim Christ as Savior, this verse has an interesting application now. It’s true that once Christ returns to head His kingdom in both a physical and a spiritual sense, all ruling will be done righteously and justly.

But what about now? If I say that through Christ God is my Father, does that not already make me a prince in His kingdom? Am I not already expected to behave justly and righteously in those relationships my own life touches

I think of relationships at church and at work, of friends and family with whom I relate. What does it mean to be “just” in those relationships? The term “fairness” comes to mind when I think of being “just,” as does the word “servanthood.” If Christ, the King of kings, came to manifest His kingdom through having a servant’s heart, then surely I can do no less as I walk out my own faith. 

This passage calls me not to be “over” someone as I generally think of a king or a prince; rather, it calls me to servanthood. An effective leader or friend is most righteous and just when he or she is giving, serving, pouring out both life and resources for another. That is what Jesus modeled for me, so surely I am called to do no less in my own life. This same thought is reflected in James 2:13, which says, “Judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”

Prayer: Father, thank You for taking a passage that at first seemed to be for people living in an age yet to come, and showing me how it applies to my own heart today. Make me a doer of this word today, and not just a hearer. Give me a servant’s heart in every relationship I touch today. Thank You, Lord.