“The tricks of scoundrels are evil.
They devise wicked plans in order to ruin poor people with lies,
even when needy people plead for justice.
But honorable people act honorably
and stand firm for what is honorable.”
~Isaiah 32:7-8 (GOD’S WORD Translation).
It is interesting to scan the Bible translations for alternative words to “honorable,” in verse 8 above, for we get “liberal” in the King James Version, “noble” in several others, “generous” in the New Living Translation, and even “open-hearted” in the Amplified version.
It’s an interesting concept, that of true nobility.
It’s a time-honoured tradition of royalty, of course, although not all royals over the ages have held to it; we only need go to the history of Israel in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles to find that out.
Taking ‘Nobility’ Further In
And, still, this is what we’re called to—to be noble, to act nobly and to stand by noble things. The prophet Micah, of course, spoke of this charge:
“And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
~Micah 6:8 (NIV).
This is paradoxically the way of nobility—of royalty. It’s a subdued reticence to any form of proud, self-absorbed vulgarity. The very people who’d have the most rights to act this way, don’t. They shun it, for God is their true King; we are God’s vassals, always subject to the Spirit of life.
The Role of Justice ‘Over’ Nobility
We get clues from verse 7 that nobility is extant within justice—true justice beyond the temptation to self-deceive or self-promote; something we all so apt at doing when we’re honest with ourselves.
Taking consideration for a moment of large less-developed nations like Pakistan and we see that these socially unjust political structures mean they’re not generally able to cope at all effectively with sweeping natural disasters. Many just structures of national governance would inevitably be able to eventually recover, essentially with little comparative external aid—there is some level of state-aided social resilience there—but where there is vagrant justice the people will eternally groan. (We in Western nations most often don’t acknowledge how good we’ve actually got it!)
Justice and nobility are intrinsically linked. One will not exist without the other. Where there is no need of justice there is certainly no need of nobility to bring to birth the requirements of the time and situation. But where on earth is justice not required?
Earth’s injustice mandates nobility—and this, in and from us in our dealing in the world.
The Personal Call
God is calling every single one of us to this goal alone. This call is to study the true bases of humility, justice and mercy... unto nobility. There we will find it. We meditate on it and we focus on it.
The Lord wants us on fire for true nobility.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.