Saturday, July 10, 2010

Do Justice.

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. 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

Justice--just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.

In an effort to understand more of what God requires, I’ve looked into the Scriptures to see what He has to say about justice. Though this list is certainly not all-inclusive, here are some of the conclusions I’ve come to:

  1. Justice is part of God’s nature. It’s wrapped up in who He is and what He does.

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love.”—Ps. 33:5

“Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast, how priceless is your unfailing love!”—Ps. 36:6

  1. Understanding justice is one of the keys to understanding Him.

“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.”—Prov. 28:5

“This is what the Lord says, ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understand and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.’”—Jer. 9:23-24

“I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compassion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the Lord.”—Hosea 2:19-20

  1. God so honored and esteemed a man’s request for a discerning heart to understand justice that He made King Solomon the wisest man ever to live. The Lord also blessed him abundantly with physical, earthly treasures in addition to that!

“So God said to him, ‘Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, I will dow hat you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.”—I Kings 3:11-12

  1. God expects us to act justly—even when nobody else does.

“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd.”—Ex. 23:2

  1. Acting with justice—treating each other right and with fairness—is more important than getting every minute detail right religiously.

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”—Amos 5:21-24

  1. Obeying God’s commands in acting with justice will bring His blessings, as opposed to disobedience and disregard for His commands. We see an example of this in His people, the Israelites, who were warned repeatedly against acting injustly. When they refused to listen to those warnings, they were ultimately taken captive and led into exile.

“Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the Lord your God is giving you.”—Deut. 16:19-20

  1. Interestingly, Job had a thing or two to say about justice. He speaks to his friends, maintaining his righteousness and refusing to let go of his integrity. He knows he is right and, as such, feels that God has denied him justice.

“And Job continued his discourse, ‘As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made me taste bitterness of soul, as long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness and my tongue will utter no deceit. I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my righteousness and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.”—Job 27:1-6

  1. However, God had an answer for Job, as He reminded Job that he just does not have the capability to understand justice as the Lord does.

“Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his?”—Job 40:6-9

  1. The Lord’s kingdom will ultimately be ruled with justice.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end, He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”—Is. 9:6-7

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope.”—Is. 42:1-4

  1. When we have sinned or done wrong, godly sorrow on our part leads us to a desire for justice to be done.

“See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.”—II Cor. 7:11

  1. Praise be to God, our God justifies us!

“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”—Rom. 3:21-26

There are many more conclusions that could be reached from perhaps a more thorough study of this subject, but that covers what I’ve gleaned so far. Thanks for reading. Much love!

“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised.”—Heb. 11:32-33

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