Tag Archive: Justice


“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
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” Zechariah 7:9-10
This past Sunday, one of the elders at my church preached on Micah 6:8, and referenced Zechariah 7:10. It was a very convicting sermon.
In both of these passages, we see that God is very concerned about what is commonly called “social justice” – that everyone in a society be treated fairly, justly, and equally. Much of the Old Testament prophets and much of Jesus’s sayings and the apostles’ writings in the New Testament strike home the importance of taking care of the disadvantaged in society. Zechariah gives one of the most complete lists – orphans, widows, the poor, and immigrants.

As a Christian, I am commanded to care for those who are disadvantaged, to bring them justice and relieve their suffering. So the thought for Thursday is, how can I do that? What can I do in my life, with my social position, talents, and experience, to help achieve justice?

Advertisements

“Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.” Daniel 4:27

Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, which had conquered most of the Middle East. This included the Kingdom of Judah (Israel had already been conquered by the Assyrians, whom the Babylonians supplanted). Daniel was a Hebrew, and thus a captive of the Empire. But he was an important political official, and the king relied on him to interpret dreams, since God gave Daniel prophetic power. The above passage is at the end of Daniel’s interpretation of a dream: Nebuchadnezzar, ruler of much of the known world, would be humiliated. But, if he follows Daniel’s advice, he might be spared.
Continue reading

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jer. 9:23-24

What do we boast in? Let me re-phrase the question: What do we trust in? Many people trust in their wealth, the material possessions that they can accumulate. Perhaps power, the ability to command and lead people, and impose your will on others. I like to trust in knowledge and wisdom, to show people how much I know, teach them how to make good decisions. Wealth, power, and wisdom are not bad. They are very useful tools. But, ultimately, should we trust in them, take pride in them, boast in them?

Companies go bankrupt, or the economy collapses and investments become worthless. Elections pull down leaders from positions of power, or you might be passed over for a promotion. Their could be a new finding in your field of study that proves your ideas worthless, or your advice might turn out to have been misleading. You might make a mistake.

But, if you trust in God, what can undermine that? We might lose power, wealth, wisdom. We might even lose our physical life. But what does that matter to our eternal being? What harm can the physical do to the spiritual? If we want trust in something solid, trust in God. Know him, understand him, and act like him. Do the right thing, the loving thing, the just thing. Use what wealth, power, and wisdom you do have to help others. This is a type of boasting that does not draw attention to yourself, but to God.