Mark D. Roberts

Eager to Do What Is Right

READ Isaiah 16:1-14

 [T]hen God will establish one of David’s descendants as king.
He will rule with mercy and truth.
He will always do what is just
and be eager to do what is right.

Isaiah 16:5

In the middle of a prophecy of doom upon Moab, we find unexpected words of hope. After the destruction is over, God will anoint a ruler who will seek and do what is right. The messianic king will be in the line of David.
We, of course, know that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus. But I’m especially struck by one line that describes the future king: “He will . . . be eager to do what is right.” The Hebrew reads, more literally, “He will . . . be quick [to do] righteousness.” He won’t know what is right yet procrastinate. He won’t be lackadaisical about righteousness. Rather, he’ll yearn for it and do it PDQ.
I want to be that kind of person. I want to be eager to do the right thing, knowing that my good works honor God. I want to do what’s right quickly, even when part of me resists. I think, for example, of times when my relationships at work are challenged by conflict. I know what’s right: to go to the person with whom I have differences and seek to reconcile. If I have done wrong, I should admit it and ask for forgiveness. When I have been wronged, I should forgive. Now I know all of these things, but there are times when I delay doing the right thing. I don’t look forward to an awkward conversation, or to apologizing for my mistakes. Sometimes I simply want to bask in self-pity for a while longer. Perhaps you can relate to what I’m saying. Or perhaps there are other areas of life where you are less than quick to seek righteousness. What God wants for us is clear, however. Like the Messiah, like Jesus, we are to be eager to do what is right, and to do it quickly.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are there times when you are not eager to do what’s right? Why are you hesitant? Are there right actions you know you should do today, but have been avoiding? What will help you to do these things?
PRAYER: Gracious Lord, I want to be eager to do what is right. I want to be quick in my obedience. There are certainly times when this is true of me, times when doing the right thing is also the pleasant thing. I’m perfectly happy to be quick to tell my wife I love her, for example.
Well, not always, I guess. There are times, Lord, when I feel angry or hurt and want to punish Linda by my lack of affection. It’s hard sometimes to initiate reconciliation. This is true, not only in my family, but also in the workplace. I don’t like conflict and so often would rather avoid and deny than be quick to do what’s right.
So, dear Lord, forgive me when I delay doing the right thing. Help me to be eager to do what is right. By your Spirit, inspire me to be quick in my obedience. As I grow in you, may doing the right thing become more and more natural to me, something I desire and do because you are shaping me to be like you. Amen.
Daily Reflections from The High
This devotional comes from The High Calling of Our Daily Work ( You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace.
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