Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” ~ Micah 6:8
It’s that first admonition that I want to take up today – to do justice. So, how do we do justice? We have to understand what justice is before we can do it, so let’s first take a look at what justice is not. Some definitions of injustice are: inequity, partiality, wrong, injury, disservice, unbalanced, and biased. If a child saw these things being committed he would cry, “Not fair!” These behaviors go against the moral compass that God installed in our being despite our sinful nature.
Next, let’s look at Webster’s definition for justice: the quality of righteousness; impartiality; the use of authority and power to uphold what is right, just or lawful. It’s what that same child would declare as “Fair!”
Now, let’s see what Scripture has to say about justice:
“…The awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow…” (Deut. 10:17-18)
“You shall not pervert justice … Justice, and only justice, you shall follow…” Deut. 16:19-20).
“…cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” (Isaiah 1:16-17)
[The fathers and prophets] who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions…” (Heb. 11:32-33)
“For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints.” (Psalm 37:28)
For the Christian, justice is not an option, it is a mandate from the Lord God Himself. We are to live our lives righteously, showing no partiality, committing no wrong or injury towards others, working to correct oppression. But, not only that, we are to bring justice and reformation to all of creation, to all spheres of the duties and works of man – the arts, sciences, business, industry, agriculture, education, everything – for it is ALL under the Lordship of Christ.
Therefore, we do not disdain or dismiss the realm of public policy. In fact, we work the fallow soil of the public sphere just as we would of any other sphere. Great injustices to the widow and fatherless exist today because of unrighteous public policy; injustice in the civil courts exist today because ungodly men and women in elected positions appoint judges who corrupt the law of our land – the Constitution; injustices to marriage, the family, business, education, our freedom of worship all exist today due to the absence of sound, Biblical influence in the public realm. We the Church have only to look at ourselves to blame for the mess we find our nation in today. We cannot ignore God’s mandate for justice in the public realm without facing the consequences of an unjust and corrupt society.
O, Christian, “How can I stand up before God and show proper respect to the high God? Should I bring an armload of offerings topped off with yearling calves? Would God be impressed with thousands of rams, with buckets and barrels of olive oil? Would he be moved if I sacrificed my firstborn child, my precious baby, to cancel my sin? But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple:”*
Do Justice. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly with God.
*Micah 6: 6-7, The Message