Justice is a very important word in the Bible. Justice matters to our God. Take a look:
"What does the Lord require of thee? To do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8
"Let justice roll down like water and righteousness like an everflowing stream." - Amos 5:24
"You have neglected the weightier matters of the law - justice, mercy and faithfulness."
- Jesus in Matt. 23:23
The concept of justice in the Bible is rooted in the very nature and character of God.
"He is the Rock, his ways are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." - Deut. 32:4
Justice in the Bible is a personal and societal issue. We're to "do justice," to strive to make the world more fair, more just for all. We're also to build a society that is just and fair, one that protects the weak and defends the powerless.
If justice is living in harmony with the ways of our God who is just, what are some of the ways that our society is in disharmony with God and justice?
Given the disparity between God's ways and the reality of our world, what does it mean for us to "do justice"?
God of Justice, help us to build a world that reflects your nature. Amen.
Jeremiah says that knowing God involves justice:
Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. 16He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the Lord. - Jeremiah 22:15-16
God speaks through Isaiah telling the people that spirituality and justice go hand in hand:
Yet day after day they seek me and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. “Why do we fast, but you do not see? Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?” Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day, and oppress all your workers. 4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fasting as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. 5
8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, 10if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. - Isaiah 58:2-10