Take a look at The Bible Project’s well done video on Justice.
We have such a short term memory that we think everyone around us started this race at the same starting block. We didn’t. There are the haves and there are the have nots. The same is true not only of education, wealth, home ownership, and healthcare, but also spiritually. We who are near to Christ need to disciple those who think others should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Jesus would never say those words to you. Biblical Justice is about advocating and giving to those who lack what is needed in this life. In a culture of systems and selfishness, may we model the Justice of Jesus in all things.
Complicity – Consider the injustice that God looked out on Israel and saw their kings, their priests, and their prophets complicit with. Imagine their constituents that they led astray in this injustice and the silence of good people who refused to take a stand against the injustice of their leaders. If God didn’t spare Israel, no unjust nation is safe from her own downfall.
9 Hear this, leaders of the house of Jacob,
rulers of the house of Israel,
you who reject justice and make crooked all that is straight,
10 who build Zion with bloodshed and Jerusalem with injustice!
11 Her officials give justice for a bribe,
and her priests teach for hire.
Her prophets offer divination for silver,
yet they rely on the Lord, saying,
“Isn’t the Lord in our midst?
Evil won’t come upon us!”
12 Therefore, because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field,
Jerusalem will become piles of rubble,
and the temple mount will become an overgrown mound.
– Micah 3:9-12
When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. – Proverbs 21:15
Do everything without grumbling and arguing so that you may be blameless and pure, innocent children of God surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt. Among these people you shine like stars in the world – Philippians 2:14-15
When justice is brought forth, one of two things happens: the guilty face their consequences, or the upright regain their innocence. Or…this is what’s supposed to happen. Sadly, in this world we far too often see the guilty finding loopholes and the innocent facing the harshest outcomes.
But the reality we face here on earth is far from the truth of what God promises. Through Christ, He has already cleansed us all from our wrongdoings – no matter how big or small. We are all sinners. But because of Jesus’s work on the cross, we are seen and known as faultless; blameless; spotless. No matter the wrong, there is no guilt. And no worldly judge could deliver a verdict that would overwrite this fundamental truth. When the time comes for us to stand before God, He will know the situations we found ourselves in and He will know how we chose to respond to them. True justice will be done at this time, and God will honor the righteous.
It’s easy to see that we live “surrounded by people who are crooked and corrupt.” But we will be held responsible for our own actions. No one else’s. Take heart. Take courage. Know that you have been made new so that you may be blameless and pure. And knowing this, step out and shine like a star to the world.
You are redeemed.
He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
We cannot turn a blind eye towards the injustice in the world. Take a look around you. Think of the men and women whose voices go unheard, those who are shunned by society, consider the children who have to fend for themselves, think of the widow who lives by herself. Consider the immigrants who are looked down upon. Where is Christ calling you to take action? How does the living hope in us make a difference to those outside of our comfort zone? Make a meal for an elderly couple, donate clothing, provide stamps and envelopes to a detention center, pray for persecuted Christians on the Voice of the Martyr’s website, offer someone a tangible expression of the living hope inside you.
18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
19 For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. 20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21 And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
– Isaiah 30:18-21
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, Iwas in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord,when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, “‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’“Then he will say to those on his left, Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For iI was hungry and you gave meno food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
– Matthew 25:31-46
Complaining and sarcasm
Oh, God, you know I have no money, but you can make the people do for me, and you must make the people do for me. I will never give you peace till you do, God.
– Sojourner Truth