Justice is a word that's being used a lot these days. We pray for justice, cry out for justice and even demand justice. But what is it exactly? Biblically?
As you might expect, justice is all about the God Who created this world. All His ways are justice for He is a God of truth and without injustice, righteous and upright is He (Deuteronomy 32:4). His justice is always carried out with mercy because He does not cast aside His merciful nature when He carries out justice on the earth. But His ways are not our ways and we do not always (or even usually) see from His perspective or from His vantage point. That's why we must continually come up higher and experience more consistently being seated with Him in the heavenlies. This is a practical necessity for life in the Spirit. To do this, we must be fed by the Spirit. And we are fed by the Spirit when He brings to our remembrance all things that He said to us (John 14:26).
Reading and hearing the Bible spoken is a prerequisite for the Spirit to bring to our remembrance what Jesus has said and give us understanding. There's nothing wrong with studying it. But too much of what people often call studying scripture is simply reading and learning what man has to say. This is good, of course. If it weren't I wouldn't be going to the trouble of writing up and sending out a Lesson of the Month. After all, God likes to use people to enlighten and encourage the hearts and minds of others. But, hearing and learning from others is not supposed to be our primary source of revelation. God wants to be our primary source! He can teach even the slowest-witted person. We just need to allow the Holy Spirit more opportunities to do his job in us by being in the Word ourselves.
Learn the word. Eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all times in between. I've often told people who can't read to just concentrate on learning only one passage at a time. I tell those who can read, to read scripture to others. When we visited the Bible School in Wales where Rees Howells led the students to pray for victory during World War II, his son conducted daily chapel by "simply" reading the Bible out loud. There was no preaching, just the reading of God's word. What would happen if that were to take place from our pulpits? Gary and I attended a retreat for pastors and ministry leaders where the guest speaker simply walked among the gathered group, quoting the Sermon on the Mount from memory. It was so powerful, people were moved by the Spirit, convicted of sin, and shown seemingly unrelated truth. Isn't that what Jesus said the Holy Spirit would do? (John 16:7-11).
Now, have I gotten off on a rabbit trail? Is the reading of God's Word connected to justice? Yes! God is a just judge (Psalm 7:11). Since He is just and is also the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14) then justice, true justice is not just God's nature, it is He, Himself (Acts 7:52; 3:14; 22:14). He sits on the throne and judges in righteousness (Psalm 9:4). Justice and righteousness cannot be separated. For the word of the Lord is right, and His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice. . . (Psalm 33:4-5). Look at history. Watch the events being played out in the world today. You will see the truth of this scripture as you see God's goodness working righteousness and justice. That is why God is able to laugh at the nations who devise vain things (Psalm 2:1-4). Righteousness and justice are why He brings the counsel of the nations to nothing and the plans of the peoples of no effect (Psalm 33:10-11).
My righteousness is like the great mountains and My judgments are a great deep (Psalm 36:6).
I will bring forth justice for truth and I will not fail or be discouraged until such time as I have established justice in the earth (Isaiah 42:3-4).
So, if God has determined not to get discouraged, so should we. He is in the process of bringing forth justice with greater speed than ever before. When justice is established in the gate (of authority), His graciousness follows (Amos 5:15) for He is the very justice that is positioned in the gate! It cannot happen apart from His presence! He is the One who pleads the case of the people and He is the One who executes justice for us (Micah 7:9). When the prophet called for justice to run down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream, he was crying for God's presence (Amos 5:24).
So, how do we bring about justice in the practical affairs of everyday life? Speaking at Notre Dame, Attorney General William Barr gave the following advice concerning bringing about justice. He said, ". . . the first thing we have to do to promote renewal is to ensure that we are putting our principles into practice in our own personal private lives....This is tough work. It is hard to resist the constant seductions of our contemporary society. This is where we need grace, prayer, and the help of our church."
What?! Deal with our own unjust thoughts and actions before demanding justice from others? Doesn't that sound like Matthew 7:3-5? You know, the guy with the beam in his eye trying to take a splinter out of the eye of another?
Here is what God has shown in Zechariah 8:16-17 that we are to do:
1. Speak each man the truth to his neighbor.
2. Give judgments in our gates (places of authority) for truth, justice and peace.
3. Let none of us think evil in our head against our neighbor.
4. Do not love a false oath. (Have integrity)
For all these things are things that I hate," says the Lord
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