Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “The Assyrian Captivity”, pages 279-292; “The Call of Isaiah”, pages 303-310, in Prophets and Kings.
“Against the marked oppression, the flagrant injustice, the unwonted luxury and extravagance, the shameless feasting and drunkenness, the gross licentiousness and debauchery, of their age, the prophets lifted their voices; but in vain were their protests, in vain their denunciation of sin”. – Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, p. 282.
For Isaiah, “the outlook was particularly discouraging as regards the social conditions of the people. In their desire for gain, men were adding house to house and field to field … Justice was perverted, and no pity was shown the poor … Even the magistrates, whose duty it was to protect the helpless, turned a deaf ear to the cries of the poor and needy, the widows and the fatherless …
In the face of such conditions it is not surprising that when, during the last year of Uzziah’s reign, Isaiah was called to bear to Judah God’s messages of warning and reproof, he shrank from the responsibility. He well knew that he would encounter obstinate resistance”. – Pages 306, 307.
“These plain utterances of the prophets … should be received by us as the voice of God to every soul. We should lose no opportunity of performing deeds of mercy, of tender forethought and Christian courtesy, for the burdened and the oppressed”. – Page 327.
The Old Testament prophets were passionate and often angry and upset defenders of the way and will of God to their people. Reflecting the expressed concern of God Himself, this passion included a strong focus on justice for the poor and oppressed. The prophets’ calls to return to God included putting an end to injustice, something God also promised to do in His visions for a better future for His people.